A Few Puzzlers…

Why is it people so often say “the Ukraine” instead of simply Ukraine? Is it common to hear someone say “the Senegal,” “the India” or “the Honduras?” 

It happens to Netherlands, too. And, although not a country, myriad.

An “a” in front of myriad is wildly redundant since, quoting the Free On-Line Dictionary,myriad is defined as “a large indefinite number.”


Filed under: Venting

1 Comment »

  1. There’s an interesting link to a discussion of “Ukraine vs the Ukraine.” It says this: “There appears to be virtually no grammatical or logical reason to use the definite article before the name Ukraine. But it is still encountered occasionally because of habit or because the writer is careless or ignorant about Ukraine.” See http://www.infoukes.com/faq/the_ukraine/

    “The Netherlands” is a slightly different story. That country is officially “Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

    My pet peeve: You’d say the University of California at Los Angeles, but you would never hear “the UCLA.” You’d say the Department of Justice or the Department of Water Resources, but you shouldn’t (but often do) hear “the DOJ or “the DWR.” Ugh! An exception: We manage to roll “the FBI” right off our tongues without thinking. And it sounds right.

    Comment by rick — 3.04.2009 @ 11:14 am

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