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

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Sat Jun 27 15:37:21 UTC 2009

Ziko van Dijk wrote:
> 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".
Actually, singular proper nouns commonly do not take the definite 
article in English. I would not say "the Britannica" anymore than I 
would say "the Wikipedia" (or, as noted, "the Encarta"). This particular 
case may indicate a difference between British and American English 
here, I'm guessing from the other comments.

There are some situations where you would use the definite article for 
singular proper nouns, such as with some geographical names, or when the 
name is actually a combination of common and proper nouns. Thus, I might 
refer to "the Encyclopedia Britannica" because it's "the encyclopedia" 
and "Britannica" identifies which encyclopedia I mean.

--Michael Snow

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