Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To "the" or not to "the"

Do you say Howard the Duck, or Howard Duck?

Do you say Daffy Duck, or Daffy the Duck?

What a difference a "the" makes!

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn (himself the grandson of mathematician Max Zorn from whom we have received the theorem known widely as Zorn's Lemma) wrote a column about how everybody says "Smokey the Bear" even though that character's official name is "Smokey Bear." You can read the article over here.

Mr. Zorn compiled the below lists of characters that do not and that do have a "the" in their name:

No "the"
  • Adam Ant
  • Br'er Rabbit
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Daffy Duck
  • Deputy Dawg
  • Donald Duck
  • Eddie Eagle
  • Fozzie Bear
  • Garfield Goose
  • Hello Kitty
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Krazy Kat
  • Magilla Gorilla
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Mighty Mouse
  • Porky Pig
  • Precious Pup
  • Priscilla Pig
  • Roger Rabbit
  • Tom Cat
  • Top Cat
  • Tweetie Bird
  • Woodsy Owl
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Yogi Bear
 With "the"
  • Babar the Elephant
  • Bill the Cat
  • Felix the Cat  
  •  Ferdinand the Bull
  • Fritz the Cat
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Howard the Duck
  • Kermit the Frog
  • Opus the Penguin
  • Puff the Magic Dragon
  • Rocky the Flying Squirrel
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Tony the Tiger
I hope an academic somewhere will write a dissertation on this matter.


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