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Allen165

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"By just about every measure out there (including John Hollinger's, and the private statistical rankings of three NBA teams) Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins was both the most productive player in the NCAA last year, and the player who projects as the best NBA player out of this draft class. If the computers were drafting, they'd take Cousins first overall."

The above paragraph was written by a writer who works for ESPN. Could anyone explain to me why there's a "the" before "computers"?

Thanks.
 

Abstract Idea

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"By just about every measure out there (including John Hollinger's, and the private statistical rankings of three NBA teams) Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins was both the most productive player in the NCAA last year, and the player who projects as the best NBA player out of this draft class. If the computers were drafting, they'd take Cousins first overall."

The above paragraph was written by a writer who works for ESPN. Could anyone explain to me why there's a "the" before "computers"?

Thanks.

By the long time that this question has been in the queue without a single answer I suspect nobody here supports that use of the definite article as essential.

For me it would sound more natural without the "the", but I don't think it is a mistake or a sin to use it here.
 

bertietheblue

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"By just about every measure out there (including John Hollinger's, and the private statistical rankings of three NBA teams) Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins was both the most productive player in the NCAA last year, and the player who projects as the best NBA player out of this draft class. If the computers were drafting, they'd take Cousins first overall."

The above paragraph was written by a writer who works for ESPN. Could anyone explain to me why there's a "the" before "computers"?

Thanks.

Yeah. The coaching team compiles statistics on computers. The only knowledge those computers would have of a player (if the computers could think) would be those statistics, so if 'the [ie those] computers were drafting', they would select players on that basis.
 

Heterological

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We use the definite article when we expect our audience to know the specific thing or things we're talking about, either because we just mentioned them, or because that special thing or group of things is commonly known. For example:

"Anarchists of Doom frontman Joe Deth was spotted at the Levi's outlet in Barstow, California last Tuesday. The singer was...(The use of "the" clarifies that we're continuing to discuss the same person mentioned previously.)

"Newly-engaged actress Sue Meah dishes about her new movie, her dream home, and the ring!" (We expect readers to know about her engagement ring, or at least infer it from the "newly-engaged" part, and, since she is a high-profile actress, it's probably an extravagent and gossip-worthy piece of jewelry.)
 
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