The decline of the definite article

Editing_and_proofreading_blog_644According to some recent research, the definite article is in radical decline.

On the other hand, let’s look at why this sentence from George Washington in 1790 sounds so old fashioned:

I embrace with great satisfaction the opportunity which now presents itself of congratulating you on the present favourable prospects of our public affairs.

The main factors are:

  • It is long.
  • It is passive.
  • Look at how he uses “the”.

And the list goes on. For example, we don’t often talk about prospects these days.

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About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader. I work with a wide range of clients, from companies to self publishing authors. I can help you to communicate clearly in print or on line by providing a fresh pair of eyes, carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas to improve the flow of your message.
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