'the' with proper names

mick1977

Member
Poland Polish
I've got a question relating to the use of the definite article in front of proper names. Here are the sentences:

Even the psychologist Oliver James, author of Affluenza, admits that he parks his ... (source: www telegraph co uk)

Psychologist Karyn Purvis of Texas Christian University, who has done extensive research ... (source: www newsweek com)

In one of the following sentences 'the' is used in front of a proper name. Since the sentence comes from a reliable source, I assume it's correct. Is the use of the definite article in the following sentence justified in any way or is it just a matter of choice?
 
  • cutiepie1892

    Senior Member
    Northern Ireland English
    It's simply a matter of choice. The sentence would work equally well without the word "the".
     

    mick1977

    Member
    Poland Polish
    Would you be able to say which one is more common / natural or is it impossible to determine that?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The article is not being used with the proper name. The article is being used with the noun describing the person named. Note that the example you gave without the article puts the descriptor as the first word in the sentence, which changes how the sentence would be phrased. It should also be noted that this practice makes the sentence sound "journalistic"; newspapers are fond of doing this.
     

    mick1977

    Member
    Poland Polish
    Aren't these sentences the same in terms of structure? Does the word 'even' change anything? Which sentence sounds more 'journalistic', the one with or without the definite article?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The lack of a definite article is very journalistic:
    Sports star David Beckham and his former Spice Girl wife Victoria arrived at the party that was being hosted by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
     
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