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Use of the Definite Article, ex FS thread.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Groks212, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    As usual with most media reports I see the locomotive is no longer Flying Scotsman but The Flying Scotsman and it seems to happen with most names, The Tornado, The Royal Scot etc.
    Maybe I'm just pedantic in my old age but it does annoy me for some reason.:mad:
    I saw a media report a bit ago about The Tornado that had sped through somewhere and I expected to see pictures of wind damaged property etc, but the picture was of 60163 Tornado on a railtour o_O

    Dave B
     
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  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    It's a very subtle difference between something as an object being described ("The Flying Scotsman") and what we enthusiasts do, treating the named object as something more than an object ("Flying Scotsman"). I suspect this is part of why the "she" continues to apply to steam locomotives, ships and similar.

    We all tend to think of our favourite named locomotives as being more than a collection of metal parts, coal and water, so our approach is always going to be different to those who see them as objects and not more than that. Seems reasonable to me.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That form of nomenclature (using the definite article to prefix locomotive names) seemed to be quite common in the Victorian literature; it is only a recent thing that it seems to have dropped out of currency :)

    I have a pet theory that "she" derives from the days when enginemen were recruited from people who may previously have been used to working with horses, and therefore continued to treat their charges as animate objects. There is still an echo of that time when enginemen will sometimes use "whoah" to mean "stop".

    Tom
     
  4. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    "The" Tornado is a new one on me. Adding the definite article seems confined to the most well-known of locos. I haven't heard of "the" Royal Scot either, but have heard it prefixing Rocket, Mallard and Flying Scotsman - no others.
     
  5. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Our transatlantic bretheren seem to add the definitive article to numbers too, hence 'The 844' etc. Odd ... to me anyway.
     
  6. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Na, that would be the tornado...

    yours even more pedantically...
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I've seen it coming in with numbers in the press here too, it reads very odd to me.
     
  8. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    In Coventry, they talk about places of work using the definite article - e.g. he works at The Dunlop, The Jag, The GEC etc. In fact most large factories apart from mine, whixh was always plain 'Courtaulds'. Sounded most odd to my northern ears when I arrived in the 70's. Anywhere else where this is the norm?
     
  9. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Locally there was a foundry known as "The Crin" but I've no idea why it was so called.
     
  10. oddsocks

    oddsocks Member

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    Here in Loughborough it's just about the opposite, the bigger firms are usually referred to as "Morris's", "Cotton's", "Mansfield's" etc, the only exception being "The Brush".
     
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  11. Rosedale

    Rosedale Member

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    I gather that Longbridge was always 'The Austin'.
     
  12. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    In Stoke, Michelin was always 'The Mich'

    Jon
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    As late as 1956, a notice was newly erected on the Newhaven Harbour branch that read "No engines other than the A1/x Fenchurch class to pass this board" - interestingly, long after the "the Fenchurch" had left!

    Tom
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In Oxford in my time, the streets were generally known as "The High", "The Broad", "The Turl" etc, rather than the official "High Street", "Broad Street", "Turl Street". I wonder if that is still the custom?

    Tom
     
  15. Rosedale

    Rosedale Member

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    Delce Road in Rochester is invariably referred to as 'The Delce', although 'The Dump' would probably suit it better.
     
  16. The Black Hat

    The Black Hat Member

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    Is now a bad time to question whether its right for me to introduce myself sometimes as the Black Hat...
     
  17. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Member

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    Go to the Ffestiniog, and there's a number of folk refer to "The Linda", The Prince" etc.
     
  18. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    The Flying Scotsman and The Royal Scot to me refer to the Train of that name whilst the locos do not have a The prefix.
     
  19. WB2624

    WB2624 New Member

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    Ships are always referred to as 'The Waverley, Titanic' etc and in Bowater's days at Sittingbourne, the locos were known as 'The Superb' etc.
     
  20. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    From my days at sea I would dispute that.
     
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