"a" prevalent misconception


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
A reader in Florida, apparently bruised by some personal experience, writes in to complain, “If I steal a nickel’s worth of merchandise, I am a thief and punished; but if I steal the love of another’s wife, I am free.”

This is a prevalent misconception in many people’s minds---that love, like merchandise, can be “stolen”

Can I change "a" to "the"? The first paragraph has already conveyed the conception that love is like merchandise through a reader's words. So, my guess is "the" should be used. What do you think?
  • < Previous | Next >