[Foundation-l] Why "Wikipedia" and not "the Wikipedia"?

Andrew Gray andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk
Sat Jun 27 15:29:12 UTC 2009

2009/6/27 Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com>:
> Hello,
> Could someone explain to me why "Wikipedia" is without definite
> article? In English you say "the Britannica", so why not "the
> Wikipedia"? I am wondering that also in German Wikipedians and
> non-Wikipedians tend to drop the article, although we say "der
> Brockhaus".

We do indeed say "I looked it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica", but
we also say "I looked it up in Encarta" or "I looked it up in
Whitaker's". Whether or not something gets an initial article is a bit
erratic, on the whole...

(Perhaps Britannica gets it because "Encyclopedia" is a common word -
we'd feel silly with the sentence "I looked it up in Encyclopedia
Britannica", because "I looked it up in encyclopedia" would itself be

For what it's worth, I've noticed that "the Wikipedia" is becoming
more common, but more among third parties than among people associated
with the project.

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk

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