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, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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