Use of the definite article: Welcome to <the?> WRF / English Only

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I notice that people don't use "the" with WordReference Forums, but they do use "the" with English Only Forum.

Welcome to <> WRF. (No "the")
Welcome to the EO Forum.

Why is it so - could someone please explain?

Thanks a lot!
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    Senior Member
    American English
    Welcome to WordReference.
    Welcome to the English Only forum.

    Welcome to Disneyland.
    Welcome to the Giant Dipper Ride.
    Welcome to the Haunted Mansion.
    Welcome to Splash Mountain.
    Welcome to It's a Small World.
    Welcome to the Jungle Cruise.

    Welcome to Safeway.
    Welcome to the produce aisle.

    What can I say? We normally drop "the" for the main thing and sometimes use "the" and sometimes not for the sub-things (see the Disneyland examples).


    Senior Member
    français - Belgique
    I think when the word - or group of words- is considered a trademark or a concept of its own, or a made-up name like "Disneyland", "Wordreference", "Splash Mountain", you'd rather not use "the".


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Welcome to <> WRF. (No "the")
    Welcome to the EO Forum.
    It concerns countability. Singular countable nouns require a determiner, e.g. "the".

    In English, there are
    General nouns: cat, mountain, verisimilitude, etc. These are used as countable and uncountable.
    Proper nouns:
    (i) Names: John, Africa, Oxfam, Cheverolet, etc -> These tend to be used as strongly uncountable (i.e. there may be exceptions but they are rare.)
    (ii) Titles: General, Lord, Mister, Midsummer's Night's Dream. -> These tend to be used as strongly uncountable (i.e. there may be exceptions but they are rare.)

    You will know that some nouns can be used countably and uncountably - this is because "countability" is an attribute of the function of the noun, and not an absolute attribute. Likewise, general, proper, and name are functions of the noun, not absolute attributes.

    Proper nouns and titles are capitalised. Some proper nouns, names, and titles are noun phrases. In the past, there was a tendency to capitalise all nouns. As time went on, by about the early 19th century, we capitalised only proper nouns and titles. This gives us clues as to the function of the noun - clues, not "proof".

    WRF is an initialism (an abbreviation of a title or a name). All initialisms are capitalised. Word Reference Forum is a name and a title.

    Names are generally uncountable, not only that, but if you use "the" to qualify a name, it has the meaning of "the actual <person who is called 'name'>"
    A: "Have you seen this [points] in the newspaper?"
    B: "What?"
    A: "Lun has been arrested for stealing cats!"
    B: "What! The Lun?!" (emphasised and pronounced - thee. It has the meaning of "the one we are aware of.")
    A: "No, the Lun you went to school with." The name is adjectivally qualified and therefore becomes countable.

    In English Only Forum, f/Forum can function as (i) a name or (ii) a title or (iii) a countable noun qualified by an adjective. English Only is a title.

    English Only Forum is a noun phrase that is a shortening of "The English Only forum of Word Reference Forums. The (determiner) + EO (titular adjectival) + Forum (general or titular noun). Forum is countable. We can talk of "the English Only forums", because there are two of them (there is "Dictionary Additions", also.)

    "You cannot post videos in the English Only Forum." :tick: = Forum is countable as it is qualified adjectivally by "English Only" but it is part of a noun phrase that, in totality, is functioning as a name or title.
    "English Only has its own moderators" :tick:-> English Only is a title and is not qualified by a determiner.

    In English, there are names that contain "the": "You must have heard of The Times, it is a British Newspaper" <- Book, newspapers, shows and film titles are the commonest. If we were really keen on there being "a rule" we would insist on sentences such as
    A: "Which newspaper do you read? I read the The Times.":cross:
    B: "I read the The Sun." :cross:
    C: "I read the Express" :tick:

    But, idiomatically, we do not say that - we miss part of the name, because English does not like two thes together:
    A: "Which newspaper do you read? I read The Times."
    B: "I read The Sun."
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