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Re: Double impact at K-T boundary ?

Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> Technically it should only be used if there is a plural in the name of 
> the country, such as 'The Netherlands' of 'The United States', or if 
> there is an adjective or compound form, such as 'The United Kingdom'. 
> Geographic regions that are not discrete countries also get away with it 
> (the Arctic, for example).

Or "the Outback".   :-)

There are no hard-and-fast rules.  This is English, after all.  As languages 
go, it's full of inconsistencies and contradictions.  Here in Australia, we say 
"Western Australia", but "the Northern Territory".

> There are no articles in the Ukrainian language, so they themselves have 
> certainly never called the country/region 'The Ukraine'. Even before its 
> borders were more strictly defined in 1917, the definite article only 
> appeared during the 20th century, and only in some English translations.

The name "Ukraine" appears to have begun as a vague geographic region before it 
became a nation.  I think Sudan falls into the same category.

Besides, if we English-speakers were sticklers for the conventions of local 
languages, we would be referring to Deutschland, Shqiperia, Hayastan and Misr 
rather than Germany, Albania, Armenia and Egypt.  Old habits die hard.