(the) author of The World Is Flat


Senior Member
Writers such as Thomas Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, and Robert Shapiro, former US undersecretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton, have spoken highly of our efforts to open up.

Dear all,

The above is quoted from an article by a ranking Chinese officer. But I was wondering whether there is a "the" before author missed out. May I have your opinons? Thanks.

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It seems that you can leave out 'the' if the title is specified in some other way.

    BP has announced record losses. Tony Hayward, (the) chief executive of the company, said that...
    The Harry Potter books have been very successful. Joanne Rowling, (the) author of the books, has made...

    But if these weren't specified by 'of the company', 'of the books', you need 'the':

    :tick:Tony Hayward, the chief executive, said that...
    :cross:Tony Hayward, chief executive, said that...
    :tick:Joanne Rowling, the author, has made...
    :cross:Joanne Rowling, author, has made...

    In these examples I used a preceding sentence to make clear what 'the chief executive' and 'the author' refer to. We don't need the 'of'-phrase then, but if we leave it out we have to include 'the'.

    (These are just initial thoughts. There may be other complications.)
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