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    The confusing "The"

    The Lord of The Rings.
    The Lord of Rings.
    Lord of The Rings.
    Lord of Rings.
    Are they all correct english?
    if yes, a brief explanation of the differences between them would be very appreciated!

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    Re: The confusing "The"

    "Lord" without an article would usually be a title ("Lord Archer"). "Lord of Rings" would be a title given to somebody -- perhaps the keeper of the ceremonial rings in some fantasy kingdom. With the definite article, "the lord" refers to a specific lord. Generally, we use the definite article when the identity of the thing we are referring to is obvious. "The Queen of England" has a definite article because there is only one such person; but in the sentence "She is Queen of England" it's a title (of course, we can say "She is the Queen of England" as well -- in this case it means exactly the same thing).

    Similarly, "the rings" would mean a definite group of rings; in the case of Tolkien's stories, "the rings" are specifically the Rings of Power forged by the Dark Lord Sauron. "The Lord" is the One Ring which Sauron secretly forged to give him power over the wearers of the other Rings of Power. On the other hand, "The Lord of Rings" would mean Lord of rings in general (implying all, or at least very many, of the rings in the world).

    The title of the collection of novels (and the movies) is The Lord of the Rings.

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