touch of <the> bubbly

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
The Penguin offers a glass of champagne to Catwoman:
-- Touch of the bubbly?
Batman Returns, movie

He means this particular bubbly he's offering her.
And zero-article could also be used here.
Am I correct? Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Sorry, but these are different uses of THE.

    I have had threads about "the tourists", "the ladies" (you quoted), also about "the chicks" (that love something I don't remember exactly what).

    Those are plural nouns denoting a category of people, but "the bubbly" is a mass noun, and "the" has a different meaning. But what meaning?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Sorry, but these are different uses of THE.

    I have had threads about "the tourists", "the ladies" (you quoted), also about "the chicks" (that love something I don't remember exactly what).

    Those are plural nouns denoting a category of people, but "the bubbly" is a mass noun, and "the" has a different meaning. But what meaning?
    :(:(How do you know it is a different meaning?? It's a category of wine - many different wines are bubbly. It's the redundancy that is the same.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    The English language stubbornly refuses to abide by the arbitrary limitations which you, Vic, keep trying to thrust upon it. The fact that the other references were categories of people and that this isn't does not mean that "the" must have a different meaning. As in the previous cases it is a colloquial affectation. It doesn't have any special "meaning" other than making the remark slightly jocular.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    But I really don't think the article in those threads are "redundant". Redundant means they add nothing in meaning while they do.

    Here, in the OP, I think when the definite article is used with "bubble" it's treated as an adjective rather as a mass noun. In the same way as in "He knows he's wishing for the impossible". That would be logical, wouldn't it?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The Penguin offers a glass of champagne to Catwoman:
    -- Touch of the bubbly?
    Batman Returns, movie

    He means this particular bubbly he's offering her.
    And zero-article could also be used here.
    Am I correct? Thanks.
    The "the" in the sentence does not mean the particular bubbly he has in his hand.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In "Touch of the bubbly?", bubbly is definitely a noun. "A drop of (the) champagne?"

    The
    is optional, but it has a (subtle and not maybe terribly important) meaning.
    - It may mean that a particular quantity (such as a bottle) is identified.
    - Or it might mean that bubbly is a familiar item, with an implication that we are the sophisticated sort of people who are familiar with it.

    She's on the gin again
    similarly suggests familiarity, but here the implication is that she is an alcoholic.
     
    Last edited:

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    My take is that "the bubbly" is a slang expression he's using to mean "Champagne." There are other sparkling wines, and there are plenty of other drinks - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic - that have bubbles, but "the bubbly" is Champagne.
     
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