This word is defined by definition defining itself. Hence it is called the
definite article. It only exists in the present tense
as the and the gerund, thing.
The is usually regarded as the fourth word in the
English lexicon aftera, be and see. This has however been attributed to
a confusion between its original spelling with a 'thorn', a disused letter
unavailable in this font, but which looked like a 'd' with a cross on the
high stroke. This letter was pronounced 'th' and was later debased to 'y',
as in 'ye olde tea shop'. Here the 'y' was always
pronounced 'th' until it dropped from use. It only attained a 'y' pronunciation
when the spelling was revived as an anachronism.
Of course during the seventeenth centre there was a party who maintained
that the was the first word in the English lexicon,
quoting the testament of St. John: "In the beginning was the
word". These people, called Theists held that
the universe began with defintion defining itself, and that definition existed
outside time but without definition. (See "Theses
of the Theists"). This was contested by the
anists who promulgated their "Several Indefinite Articles of Faith"
who adopted a more intuitive approach. They suggested that definition must
not only have been without definition, but in fact indefinite. This current
quickly fragmented into a variety of sects who all maintained some but not
all of the "Several Indefinite Articles of Faith"
of the founding Synod. One faction, the Atheists
tried to develop a compromise arguing that it was impossible to have definion
without indefinition, and that the two were yoked together. They reasserted
all the "Several Indefinite Articles of Faith"
but declared these to be "The Indefinite Articles
of Faith" to which they added "Several Definite Articles of Faith"
which embodied many of the "Theses of the Theists".
Unfortunately this stimulating debate was brought to a halt with the supression
of the Batavian Revolution
and the execution of nearly all of the participants. The only survivor was
a certain Florian Cramer,
who established a dynasty which has continued this debate amongst all his
descendants. As Cramer
established a tradition of calling all his children Florian
Cramer, a habit which they have maintained to this day, much of this
modern debate between the several hundred Florian
Cramers no living is almost impossible for an outsider to unravel. Should
an investigator enquire whether a particular Florian
Cramer is the Florian
Cramer responsible for a particular tract, the response will not so
much depend on a correct or incorrect identity, but rather on the
position of the particular individual in the debate.
Return to Words
Return to LPA Home Page