Double "the" / ("the The Title")

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haleygerstenberg
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Double "the" / ("the The Title")

Post by haleygerstenberg » 14 May 2018, 22:59

I wrote a review that begins with the sentence "Becoming the Dragon is the first in the The Dragon Inside series of novels."

I went back and forth a lot trying to decide whether to have that double "the" or not, or just to leave out the series name altogether (ironically, I didn't do that because I thought there might be a point deduction for leaving out that info). I couldn't really find much authoritative advice online about what's technically correct or incorrect in this sort of scenario.

I ended up settling with formatting it with italics so that the series title name was clearly differentiated from the preceding "the"

Anyway, one of my editors marked it as a grammatical error, and that's fine, it is what it is, but obviously I want to know what the solution is, and I'm just as uncertain now as before about what I'll do if I run into the same situation over again... Any thoughts/advice would be more than welcome

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Post by CatInTheHat » 15 May 2018, 15:13

Sometimes reading the sentence aloud helps with awkward things like that. It's becomes more obvious when you read it aloud that the extra "the" does not work.
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Post by haleygerstenberg » 15 May 2018, 15:32

CatInTheHat wrote: ↑
15 May 2018, 15:13
Sometimes reading the sentence aloud helps with awkward things like that. It's becomes more obvious when you read it aloud that the extra "the" does not work.
Thanks for responding— I agree with you that doing that helps, but it didn't help me much in this particular situation, because when I see the format "the + italicized The" I read it with the soft/little "thuh" + Thē Title, which makes it flow well-ish. Idk, I didn't like that less than leaving out one of the logical "the"s.

Anyway, assuming it was wrong like you're saying, which I am, I'm still not sure what I should have done, style-wise. Would you think "from the Dragon Inside series" or "from The Dragon Inside series"? The second one seems just plain wrong to me. From what I can find online, the first adheres to the NY Times styleguide, at least.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 15 May 2018, 16:17

haleygerstenberg wrote: ↑
15 May 2018, 15:32
CatInTheHat wrote: ↑
15 May 2018, 15:13
Sometimes reading the sentence aloud helps with awkward things like that. It's becomes more obvious when you read it aloud that the extra "the" does not work.
Thanks for responding— I agree with you that doing that helps, but it didn't help me much in this particular situation, because when I see the format "the + italicized The" I read it with the soft/little "thuh" + Thē Title, which makes it flow well-ish. Idk, I didn't like that less than leaving out one of the logical "the"s.

Anyway, assuming it was wrong like you're saying, which I am, I'm still not sure what I should have done, style-wise. Would you think "from the Dragon Inside series" or "from The Dragon Inside series"? The second one seems just plain wrong to me. From what I can find online, the first adheres to the NY Times styleguide, at least.
Since the series title is The Dragon Inside, it should be from The Dragon Inside series.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


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Post by DATo » 15 May 2018, 16:54

I think your sentence is valid because The Dragon Inside is a proper noun despite the fact that it is more than one word. Your use of the first "the" is specifying this book title as the source title of the series as opposed to any OTHER title of the series. I know it doesn't sound right, but technically I believe your sentence is still proper grammar.
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Post by love_b00ks » 21 May 2018, 06:21

I think it is okay but, yeah, there is the issue of how it sounds. Maybe you could move "series of" between the two "the" to make it sound better.

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