The Case of the Missing "The"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Sep 23 21:48:53 UTC 1999

If Entertainment Weekly is going to be fussy, it might check the meaning of
"wherefore."  And then of course there's the little agreement problem with

At 04:39 PM 9/23/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>From Entertainment Weekly:
> WHAT THE? Call it The Case of the Missing "The" (or should we say Case of
>Missing "The"?). Lately, our favorite three-letter article has been
>mysteriously AWOL from a growing number of movie titles. Consider evidence:
>This summer gave us the Will Smith vehicle Wild Wild West (the original 1960s
>TV show was The Wild, Wild West). And coming soon: Brad Pitt in Fight Club (a
>project that was once called The Fight Club) and director Tim Robbins' Cradle
>Will Rock (inspired by a 1936 musical drama called The Cradle Will Rock).
>That's not even counting films that sound like they should have a "the" in
>their titles, like Julia Roberts' Runaway Bride, or Kevin Costner's For Love
>of the Game. Wherefore art "the"? "You have people's attention for about a
>second when they look at your title," says Gerald Cohen, a language professor
>at the University of Missouri-Rolla. "'The' is one more word that doesn't add
>anything." Still, the "the" shortage is tripping up fans and media
>alike--several news outlets (EW included) have inadvertently added an extra
>article to Costner's title. "I find For the Love of the Game harder to say,"
>argues Game producer Amy Robinson. "It's more words." End. --Joshua Rich
>I found this at
>- Allan Metcalf

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