Friday, August 1, 2014

What's In A Name?

     I just saw the mock-up of the cover for my latest novel.  It was wonderful, except I noticed the title had been changed from The Raven's Daughter to Raven's Daughter.
     "Why?" I asked.  
      Before I had a chance to ponder the question for more than a few seconds my publisher responded that it was a stronger title without the article and that the use of the word the at the beginning of a title was disappearing.
     A sign of the times.  We have gotten so used to texting in shorthand, speaking in shorthand and conversing in shorthand that those wonderful building blocks of speech, articles, are beginning to be banished from our consciousnesses.  I mourn their loss.
     Fast cars, fast food, fast talk.  The use of an article as the beginning word in a title makes it difficult to find the title in a search engine.
     Yet  I do recognise the truth of it and have been guilty for a long time of the same article abuse, even when referring to the plays of  William Shakespeare.  Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, Winter's Tale...all of these seem to have lost their article when mentioned in conversation and nobody seems to miss them.  Gone also is the initial A in such plays and films as Hard Day's Night and Streetcar Named Desire, which at times is simply called Streetcar.
     Welcome to the twenty-first century.
     As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changing."
     Wait...maybe that's where one of the missing articles went...

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