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

Unionhawk unionhawk.sitemod at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 17:54:11 UTC 2009

"Wikipedia" and "the Foundation" sounds right to me. When in doubt, if it
sounds right, it probably is. German grammar, I can't help you... Dieser
Benutzer *hat keine

On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM, Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com>wrote:

> When I look into Duden Die Grammatik, this authoritative reference
> work about German grammar says that proper names (Angela, Berlin,
> Christmas) don't get an article: "Hamburg liegt an der Elbe." But it
> mentions many exceptions, like for rivers who actually do get an
> article (such as "die Elbe"). An article you use also for institutions
> ("die UNO") and works ("der Wallenstein", "das Ave Verum").
> So what is "Wikipedia", an institution, a work, a proper name? In
> German texts I find a lot of inconsequences, sometimes in one sentence
> there is "die Wikipedia" an then again "Wikipedia". I believed that
> that has to do with the context: "I am registered at Wikipedia"
> (institution), and "I have written something in the Wikipedia" (work).
> But this does not fit with my actual findings. Then I thought that
> "Wikipedia" without article is an anglicism, but it seems not to be
> that easy, too.
> What else do we compare (the) Wikipedia with, except for other
> encyclopedias? A web site like Google? A social movement like
> Greenpeace?
> And how about "Wikimedia"? In a short corpus I studied the reporter
> said "Wikimedia e.V." in German, although I say "die Wikimedia". In
> English, is it "the Wikimedia"? "The Foundation"? "The Wikimedia
> Foundation"?
> Kind regards,
> your confused
> Ziko
> 2009/6/27 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>:
> > 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
> > Britannica".
> >
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> --
> Ziko van Dijk
> NL-Silvolde
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