Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Lebanon - not any more

Apparently 'the foreign office funds an organisation - the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names - to decide on correct usage' of definite articles when referring to countries. According to the committee, 'the only "the"s permitted are the Bahamas and the Gambia.'

Confusion still reigns over, and possibly in, (the) Lebanon. There is nothing in its Arabic name to support the use of the definite article, but references to "the Lebanon" are so frequent in English that even one of the staff at the Lebanese embassy in London thinks the "the" is correct until she checks with a senior official.
Read the whole article here.

1 comment:

digressive_mind said...

In relation to Rice’s comment about “The Lebanon”, not sure if you caught Sunday's Dimbleby programme, but it was entertaining to watch the duo in full verbosity. Although today’s Guardian article implies that the Straw-Rice relationship is somewhat sordid, the farcical analysis is quite laughable.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/story/0,,1747001,00.html