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

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 16:48:50 UTC 2009

2009/6/27 Michael Snow <wikipedia at verizon.net>:
> 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.

I agree with you, and I speak British English. I would say "the
Encyclopaedia Britannica" (NB. the middle word has two a's. As
suggested by the final word, it is (originally) a British thing, so
takes the British spelling, which has two a's [or an "æ" if you want
to be pedantic].). I would, however, say "Britannica" not "the

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