(the) company policy

Discussion in 'English Only' started by VicNicSor, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    It is not company policy to divulge personal details of employees.
    Longman dictionary

    I've met both "It is not company policy to ...." and "It is not the company policy to ....." in Google. Which is more correct?
    Thank you.
     
  2. Glasguensis

    Glasguensis Signal Modulation

    Versailles
    English - Scotland
    Both are correct. Usually a company has a number of policies - saying "it is not company policy" means that what is being described isn't included in any of them. If you use "the", it would suggest that you are talking about a specific policy, and that what is being described is contrary to that policy.

    For example, a company might not give donations to charity, but not have any specific policy about donations. It would be correct to say that it is not company policy to give donations to charity. Another company might have a policy to donate only to medical research charities. It would be correct to say that it is not the company policy to give donations to a pet shelter.
     
  3. e2efour

    e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 76)
    UK English
    As an alternative to the frequent "it is not company policy to", I would say "it is not the company's policy to", which is mostly what you get if you search on Google.
    You can also say "it is not the policy of the company", which naturally becomes "the company's policy", not "the company policy".

    However, I hesitate to use correct since it is difficult to find out which alternative is least used. I would say it's more a question of style.
     
  4. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Ah!
    I guessed that article refered to 'company', not to 'policy'. So, that means that the head noun, not the attributive noun, takes the article... "Company" is just like an adjective.
    Do I correctly understand that when shifting the nouns it'd look like this:
    It is not any/a policy of the company to... (in the case former case)
    It is not the policy of the company to... (in the latter)

    cross-posted with e2efour
     
  5. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    This is exactly what I would say.:thumbsup:
     
  6. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    If we say the company's policy, the article refers to 'company', because if we can say turn the phrase into an 'of-phrase', then the article refers to the noun in possessive case. But in "the company policy", the article, on the contrary, refers to the head noun (policy). That means that possessive noun and attributive nouns act differently?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014

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