Re: Use of articles
Martin Eberhard Schauer <Martin.E.Schauer@gmx.de> writes:
> recently i reviewed a translation on debian-l10n-german.
> >>> msgid "The file %s is missing from plugin %s."
> >> (translated) I'm afraid the article is missing in the Englisch text.
> >> msgid "The file %s is missing from the plugin %s."
> >> ^^^
> > (translated) IMHO no article is missing - it is often omitted in
> > English texts. I suggest asking a native speaker before filing a bug
> > report.
> To me (i'm German) the example sounds very strange without an article.
> Until now i often considered missing articles as mistakes.
Perhaps it will help to think of three possible articles: the indefinite
article (“a”, “an”), the definite article (“the”), and the null article.
All three are in common use, and produce different meanings.
> I would be grateful for an explanation regarding the correct use (and
> omission) of articles.
In the example above, using “the file %s” indicates a specific file that
could be any other file, whereas “plugin %s” indicates a specific plugin
*and* has the connotation that this is the only possible plugin meeting
It has similar connotations to using “plugin %s” as a proper noun; a
sense that the correct *name* for that plugin is “plugin %s”, or that
“plugin” is a *title* being applied similar to the title for a person.
It isn't actually a proper noun or title, though.
That's not definitive; it's merely a way of thinking about the usage
that might help distinguish the implications of the null article in this
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