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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    a 26-year-old man

    New York father charged after his car was stolen with sleeping son, 6, inside - The Middletown Press : Serving Middletown, CT
    ROCHESTER, N.Y. ó Police in upstate New York say a 6-year-old boy snoozing in his fatherís car never woke up while the vehicle was being stolen after it was left running outside a store.
    Officers tell Rochester media outlets that a 26-year-old man from Irondequoit left his car running while he went inside a convenience store to get a drink late Saturday night.

    The father is mentioned in the first sentence, so should a be "the"?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a 26-year-old man

    Quote Originally Posted by AKB48 View Post
    New York father charged after his car was stolen with sleeping son, 6, inside - The Middletown Press : Serving Middletown, CT
    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Police in upstate New York say a 6-year-old boy snoozing in his father’s car never woke up while the vehicle was being stolen after it was left running outside a store.
    Officers tell Rochester media outlets that a 26-year-old man from Irondequoit left his car running while he went inside a convenience store to get a drink late Saturday night.

    The father is mentioned in the first sentence, so should a be "the"?
    If I were to write it, I would use "the". I would also use "didn't wake" rather than "never woke" in the first sentence.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: a 26-year-old man

    Thank you, bhaisahab.

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    #4

    Re: a 26-year-old man

    [not a journalist, ymmv]

    You'll often see "a" here.

    1) The first sentence of a short form news report such as this is a mini-summary of the full story. Therefore, the subsequent reference to the father can be considered the first reference for the full story, and suggests "a" is correct.

    2) In the U.S., news reporters are required to report "alleged" facts, to maintain a level of "innocent until proven guilty". In place of "alleged", to get around this they will often use "police say that". In this case, they could have been using reported speech, where the original statement from the officers used "a 26-year-old man from Irondequoit".

  4. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: a 26-year-old man

    Thank you, Bob.

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