Fairy tale titles

Discussion in 'English Only' started by vixie, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. vixie New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I have noticed that some fairy tales have the definite article in their titles, others don't. I couldn't figure out the rule and I would be happy to get a hint.

    - The Glass Slipper but Glass Slippers
    - The Frog Prince, The Bride Finder, The Fairy of Ku-She but Prince of Kisses, Prince of the Pond, Sleeping Beauty, but then again The Sleeping Beauty.

    It seems that both variants coexist. Which is more accurate - with or without the article?

    Thx. in advance and best regards,

  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I suspect that it goes back to who first wrote down or popularized the stories.
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, vixie.

    I suspect it's just the way the author (or editor or translator) wants it to sound.

    Please note that forum rules prohibit chatspeak, e.g. "Thx" in place of "thanks."
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Welcome to the forum from me too, Vixie:)
    I don't think you need to worry about it too much ~ titles of stories (not just fairy tales*) do sometimes vary from edition to edition, especially when (a) they were originally in a foreign language, and (b) they've been around for centuries and reprinted hundreds of times by a multiplicity of publishers.
    Many of the best-known fairy tales in English were originally by foreign authors: Perrault (French), Hans Andersen (Danish), Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm (German).

    (*There's a story by Chekhov ~ originally in Russian of course, which doesn't have articles ~ which I've seen variously titled in English as The Man in the Case, A Man in a Case, The Encased Man, An Encased Man, etc.)
  5. vixie New Member

    Thank you all for your kind replies. You've been really helpful.
    And thanks for the welcoming words. I've been reading your forum for a while now and have learned a lot.

    sdgraham, I'll try to obey ;).

    Kind regards, Nat

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