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Thread: "The" or not...

  1. #1
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    Default "The" or not...

    I just read an article in BBC, which contained the sentence

    ...has responded by ordering an urgent review of hostels filmed for the documentary.

    Wouldn't it be more natural to say an urgent review of the hostels filmed for the documentary ? Since "filmed for the documentary" defines them, I see it as such.

    Any opinions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    I think so.

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    both are understandable, as long as you remember that the phrase implies: "Hostels that were filmed for the documentary"
    Then, both your way and their way have a definite article.

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    It is true, that the sentence implies hostels [that were] filmed, but I'm not sure whether this is such a crucial part of the problem.

    Consider these examples:

    ??The report said that men shot today were prisoners
    ??The report said that men that were shot today were prisoners
    The report said that the men shot today were prisoners
    The report said that the men that were shot today were prisoners

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    With the definite article, it indicates that all the hostels that were filmed are being investigated. "Some of the..." would indicate that not all the hostels that were filmed are being investigated.

    It may well be that the BBC does not know how many of the hostels are actually being investigated. By omitting the article, they are playing it safe: it could be all of them, but it may only be some.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    ....
    It may well be that the BBC does not know how many of the hostels are actually being investigated. By omitting the article, they are playing it safe: it could be all of them, but it may only be some.
    Another possibility is that the police have impounded all the film taken by whoever made the documentary, which includes film of hostels other than the ones that finally appeared in the documentary as broadcast. Omitting the definite article is a neat way of avoiding a lengthy explanation of how the investigation would include matters relating to footage that got no further than the cutting room.

    b

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    By omitting the article, they are playing it safe: it could be all of them, but it may only be some.
    That's the explanation that makes the most sense to me, but I have to admit that I still find the sentence a bit awkward.

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    It's a perfectly standard formulation in the world of journalism.

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    Default Re: "The" or not...

    Ah, the world of journalism...Sounds like something from JRR Tolkien.

    Or, should I say novelist Tolkien (wink wink)

    thanks rewboss. great input

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