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    #1

    A great ship vs The great ship

    The great ship, Titanic, sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th, 1912.
    Hello, everyone.

    I think here we should use the indefinite article instead of the definite article, for that in history there have been clearly more than one ship that have been considered as great.

    To use the definite article, we will have to dispense with the two commas:

    The great ship Titanic sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th, 1912.

    Would you agree with me?

    Many thanks

    Richard

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    #2

    Re: A great ship vs The great ship

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hello, everyone.

    I think here we should use the indefinite article instead of the definite article, for that in history there have been clearly more than one ship that have been considered as great.

    To use the definite article, we will have to dispense with the two commas:

    The great ship Titanic sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th, 1912.

    Would you agree with me?

    Many thanks

    Richard
    First off, what's the context? What comes before this sentence?

    Secondly, "the great ship" can be used as a synecdoche and that's why there's an appositive next to it.

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    #3

    Re: A great ship vs The great ship

    The great ship ,Titanic ,sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th ,1912.She was carrying 1,316 passengers and a crew of 891 . Even by modern standards, the 46,000 ton Titanic was a colossal ship .At that time ,however, she was not only the largest ship that had ever been built, but was regarded as unsinkable, for she had sixteen watertight compartments. Even if two of these were flooded, she would still be able to float.
    Hi, freezeframe.

    The sentence was extracted from a two paragraph article and here is the best part of the first paragraph.

    With the two commas, in my opinion, it seems the sentence literally means something like We are talking about the only great ship throughout human history that is the Titanic. If we get rid of the two commas and the definite article after the second comma, we will have The great ship Titanic ... . Here the great ship, in my opinion, justly modifies this famous ship.

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    #4

    Re: A great ship vs The great ship

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hi, freezeframe.

    The sentence was extracted from a two paragraph article and here is the best part of the first paragraph.

    With the two commas, in my opinion, it seems the sentence literally means something like We are talking about the only great ship throughout human history that is the Titanic. If we get rid of the two commas and the definite article after the second comma, we will have The great ship Titanic ... . Here the great ship, in my opinion, justly modifies this famous ship.
    I disagree. A synecdoche does not preclude there being other great ships. Compare to "The Good Book" to refer to the Bible. This does not preclude there being other "good" books.

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    #5

    Re: A great ship vs The great ship

    PS In addition to my post above:

    that's because a synecdoche does not describe but names.

    The great ship would be used not as a description (i.e. a ship that is great) but as a name (=Titanic; hence the appositive).

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