[Grammar] between writer and reader

nyggus

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Hi,

From "The little English handbook" by Corbett and Finkle:

"Careless handling of the pronoun often blocks communication between writer and reader."​

Could you please explain the omission of articles before writer and reader?

Thanks,
nyggus
 

Raymott

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This is fairly common when two non-specific entities are being spoken of.

Here are some more examples:
"There needs to be trust between doctor and patient."
"There is a commercial arrangement between producer and supplier."
"It helps if there's an understanding between programmer and end-user."
"Since Adam and Eve, there has always been conflict between man and woman."

In all of these cases, there is no specific reader, patient, doctor, programmer, etc. in mind. They are all general rules which apply to any pair of reader/writer, etc.
 

nyggus

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Thanks, Raymott. Your examples suggest that the rule applies only to between, is that right?

Would it be incorrect to write "between a writer and a reader"?
 

Raymott

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You could use 'a' or 'the' there as well. I was just explaining that sometimes we don't, in this context.
It doesn't always require 'between'. "Reader and writer need to be on the same page."; "Both patient and doctor need to understand the treatment."
 
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