Hello! I'd like to know if I should use "the" in the noun phrases above. I was sure that we need no article before "use of articles/article use or usage in English" when speaking in general. But I've found an article about article usage entitled "The Use of Articles in English Writing". Its subtitles, such as “Use of Articles in Science Writing” and “Use of Articles With Plural Nouns VS. Single Count Nouns," have no article. 

Why is it so? Is "the" necessary or optional in the title? Is "article use with" similar to "use of articles with" in terms of article usage? 

Original Post

Hi, Alexey,

Titles do not follow the usual rules of article usage.

The use of "The" in the main title of the article, "The Use of Articles in English Writing," shows it has more hierarchy than the subtitles and reflects how that phrase would be used in context, for example: This article deals with the use of articles in English writing. (It would be wrong to say: "deals with use of articles.")

Instead, the subtitles are treated like bullet points, where articles are usually done away with:

  • Use of articles in science writing
  • Use of articles with plural nouns
  • etc.
Alexey86 posted:

This article deals with the use of articles in English writing. (It would be wrong to say: "deals with use of articles.")

Thank you! Does it work the same way with "article use/usage in/with"?

We could say: This text deals with article usage in English writing.

We could say: This text deals with article usage in English writing.

Does "could" mean that we could say "with the article usage/use in English writing" as well? Would there be any difference in meaning?
Does the requirement of using "the" in "deals with the use of articles" have to do with the of-structure? 

It would be wrong to say: "deals with use of articles.

Gustavo, I don't quite understand whether this means that the title "Use of articles in English writing" would be also incorrect or not. I'm asking because omitting articles in titles occurs quite often.
Would you check the correctness/naturalness of the following example, please?

article title: Use of articles in English writing
text: The use of article in English writing follows several basic rules....
article subtitle: Use of articles in science writing
text: The use of articles in science writing  requires precision....

And lastly, may I omit articles in question titles? For example,

question title: Use of articles in English writing
text: Hello! I'd like to know about the use of articles/(-)article use in English writing....

Alexey86 posted:

We could say: This text deals with article usage in English writing.

Does "could" mean that we could say "with the article usage/use in English writing" as well? Would there be any difference in meaning?
Does the requirement of using "the" in "deals with the use of articles" have to do with the of-structure? 

No. "the article usage/use" is wrong. You can say "the usage/use of articles."

Alexey86 posted:

It would be wrong to say: "deals with use of articles.

Gustavo, I don't quite understand whether this means that the title "Use of articles in English writing" would be also incorrect or not. I'm asking because omitting articles in titles occurs quite often.

"use of articles in English writing" is correct as a title, not in a sentence.

Alexey86 posted:

Would you check the correctness/naturalness of the following example, please?

article title: Use of articles in English writing
text: The use of articles in English writing follows several basic rules....
article subtitle: Use of articles in science writing
text: The use of articles in science writing  requires precision....

That's correct.

Alexey86 posted:
And lastly, may I omit articles in question titles? For example,

question title: Use of articles in English writing
text: Hello! I'd like to know about the use of articles/(-)article use in English writing....

That's correct. I prefer "article usage" instead of "article use."

 

article title: Use of articles in English writing

I've noticed I omitted the article before "article title". I somehow feel it's correct, but I'm not sure how to explain that. Is it because "article title" functions as an index, not as a regular noun phrase? It behaves more like a road sign.

If you don't mind, I'd like to continue this thread, because it seems I'm still missing something. I've read an article recently about article usage (Definiteness and Identification in English by Barbara Abbott) which includes several examples of "use of" without any determiner. Here they are,

1) "...In each of these examples the underlined definite description denotes an entity (Red Bullet, Christmas) which is extremely accessible and in fact the topic of the preceding text. If use of a definite description just meant “low accessibility”, then these examples should feel unnatural, but they don’t."

2) "We would argue that what is required for felicitous use of the definite article (and most uses of other definites) is that the speaker must believe that the hearer is able to individuate the referent in question from all others within the discourse model."

3) "It seems accurate to say that use of a definite conveys an assumption that the addressee can access or identify or individuate a referent."

4) "...I believe that the use of the definite in this example may also be in conscious imitation of a kind of snooty use of the definite by upscale department stores; cf. also phrases like $50 the pair. Use of the phrase "the catalog" in this way brings home the striking fact that human body parts are to be treated just like shoes and hats."

How are these different from my example above, "The use of article in English writing follows several basic rules..."

Hi, Alexey,

In (1), the phrase "use of a definite description" is used metalinguistically (I would have used quotes or italics). The author meant to say: If the phrase "use of a definite description" meant "low accessibility," ...

The phrases starting with "use of" sound like "using," and I see nothing wrong with that. They seem to be more generic than the more specific ones starting with "the use of," as is the case in (4), where the author uses "the use of the definite."

They seem to be more generic than the more specific ones starting with "the use of,"

I can't see any difference in genericness between "I believe that the use of the definite in this example..." and "Use of the phrase "the catalog" in this way..." in (4). Both phrases seem equally specific to me due to "in this example" and "in this way". Would you give me any clue, please?

Why does article usage differ in these examples?

1) "We would argue that what is required for felicitous use of the definite article... 
2) There has been so much ink spilled over definite NPs in English that one wonders seriously whether it is an ethical use of this scarce resource to keep doing that.

Hi, Alexey,

In your sentences immediately above (next time please number them differently from other examples in the same thread to avoid confusion, for example (5) and (6)), I think it is the function of the "adjective + use" phrase that defines the use, or non-use, of the article.

While "for felicitous use of..." is an adverbial of purpose, "an ethical use of..." is a subject complement. It would be clearly incorrect to say "it is ethical use of this resource to keep doing that."

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