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Nikola
Community Tutor
Oh Lord...
Using articles in English is difficult enough as it is but how they're used in book and movie titles is beyond me. Is there any logic to it?

There's Lord of the Flies and The Lord of the Rings. Why? Is the first lord more metaphorical or not unique enough?

Can you think of other pairs of similar-sounding titles that differ in the use of article?
May 2, 2020 12:13 PM
Comments · 6
On the subject of one of the three Article monsters:

Use the:
— when you assume there is just one of something
— in sentences or clauses where you define or identify a particular person or object
— when a noun has a specific reference to something unique
— when only one entity exists
— to specify what singular entity you were referring to
— to refer to people or objects that are unique
— before superlatives and ordinal numbers
— with the names of works of art (movies, literature, etc.)

So, does that seem logical?


May 2, 2020
these are just Titles of books/movies/shows. and they could have easily added or left off the article "the".

for example, these movies could have been named with or without articles.

THE beauty and the beast
THE ghostbusters
THE gladiator
THE lion king
THE dark knight
THE toy story

May 2, 2020
I never gave it any thought before why the book's title was called "Lord of the Flies" and not "The Lord of the Flies".

This is going to get very abstract, but to me it somehow sounds more omnipresent and imposing without the definite article there. A bit as if being referred to by the title "Lord" and not objectified. Maybe like "Lord Jim" and not "The Lord Jim". It's supposed to actually represent Beelzebub, is it not?

Not that that explains "The Lord of the Rings", but I could see the book's title working without "the", and it's commonly abbreviated as LOTR anyway.
May 2, 2020
That's OK, Richard. You know that some of the things I bring up are random, to say the least. There might not be a definite answer to my question about the definite article. Maybe it is as simple as juandoe says. It's just that Lord of the Flies is the actual title, without "the". It gets mentioned far more without "the", according to Google Ngram.

Another one I've been wondering about:
Game of Thrones vs The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games sound like the Olympic Games so it kind of makes sense, but why not The Game of Thrones?

Maybe I should go and think about something more productive.
May 2, 2020
Nikola

To answer your question, I can provide only my opinion since I have never come across a situation like you have posed in your discussion, specifically, does a title require the article the.

Both Dave and Juandoe make good points when they say that the titles do not always require the article and that, in many cases, the title reads just as well without the article.

I would simply say that if one is specifically referring to a specific title, then the article should be included, if only to show specific reference to the one and only piece of work.

And that be my best guess... :)

May 2, 2020
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Nikola
Language Skills
Czech, English, German, Italian, British Sign Language (BSL), Swedish
Learning Language
Italian