J.D., a New Orleans reader, writes:
“I can’t believe that you mentioned Magna Carta’s 800th birthday without pointing out, yet again, that there is no ‘the’ in front of Magna Carta.”
You are right.
There is never a “the” in front of Magna Carta, hoi polloi, Ukraine or Sudan.
There is always a “the” in front of the Mahatma Gandhi. the Rev. John Smith, the Hague, the Netherlands and the Bronx.
And only you can prevent a “the” in the middle of Smokey Bear.
A free copy of QT’s comic-thriller novel 60606, by the way, to anyone who writes in and manages to put Magna Carta, hoi polloi, Ukraine, Sudan, the Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. John Smith, the Hague, the Netherlands, the Bronx and Smokey Bear into one sentence.
As QT just did, come to think of it.
WRITE TO QT: email@example.com