any idea is a good idea except <the> not happy ones

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
-- Here in Cloud Cuckooland there are no rules. There's no government, no babysitters, no bedtimes, no frowny faces, no bushy mustaches, and no negativity of any kind. (..........) Any idea is a good idea except the not happy ones. Those you push down deep inside where you'll never, ever, ever, ever find them.
The Lego Movie


I think, with zero article it would still be correct but not so good. In the OP, "not happy ones" are singled into a separate category, while with zero article they would be considered generally. Am I correct? Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I agree with your analysis, Vic. The zero-article version seems far less likely to me. That's probably because it would be much harder to hear and interpret correctly. "The" really helps the listener figure out what the phrase is supposed to mean.
     
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