Boston children gather together and beat up <the> Jewish kids

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
-- It began in 1985, in a town just outside Boston. It was Christmas Eve, and all the children were in high spirits. That special time of year when Boston children gather together and beat up the Jewish kids.
Ted, movie

Why does "Boston children" not take the article while "the Jewish kids" does?:)
Thanks.
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    We know you like to obsess about articles, Vic, but don't read too much into this. The author could easily have omitted the "the". It probably means the ones in their neighbourhood that they can catch.
     

    plop.yes

    Member
    english - usa
    Not to be a broken record, but the article is almost resemblant of how Boston children may have referred to Jewish kids they beat up. Like Edinburgher said, "the Jewish kids" is likely how a group of Boston children would have referred to the Jewish kids in their neighborhood; it's likely that each group of Boston children had a standard group of Jewish kids they'd beat up. If the sentence were "Boston children gather and beat up Jewish kids," (to me) it loses the sense that Boston children habitually ganged up on certain groups of Jews close to their age. It adds a nice flavor of specificity to the sentence, but is by no means necessary.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Not to be a broken record, but the article is almost resemblant of how Boston children may have referred to Jewish kids they beat up. Like Edinburgher said, "the Jewish kids" is likely how a group of Boston children would have referred to the Jewish kids in their neighborhood; it's likely that each group of Boston children had a standard group of Jewish kids they'd beat up. If the sentence were "Boston children gather and beat up Jewish kids," (to me) it loses the sense that Boston children habitually ganged up on certain groups of Jews close to their age. It adds a nice flavor of specificity to the sentence, but is by no means necessary.
    Thank you!
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sorry, what's that got to do with reported speech?..
    I meant, "the Jewish kids" are a specific group in the minds of Boston children. The word "the" represents the way in which the Boston children categorized the people that they knew, and does not necessarily reflect the writer's categorization patterns, or the reader's. "The Jewish kids" is a quotation from the speech or the mindset of the Boston children. No Boston child knows all the Jewish kids in town.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I meant, "the Jewish kids" are a specific group in the minds of Boston children. The word "the" represents the way in which the Boston children categorized the people that they knew, and does not necessarily reflect the writer's categorization patterns, or the reader's. "The Jewish kids" is a quotation from the speech or the mindset of the Boston children. No Boston child knows all the Jewish kids in town.
    Thank you !
     
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