Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just a The

This is pretty much an illustration, but its origins are in the Pembroke Road, Dublin 4. I've been looking at the Lansdowne Hotel sign which is big and blocky - and thinking there's a photo there. There's such a long way between the words on the sign that the "the" sits on its own somehow. But somehow I could never get to the sign when the sunlight would give it three dimensional relief. So I played around! Grammatical rules suggest that the indefinite article must be used first and the definite article can then be introduced. "He walked down Pembroke Road in search of a hotel. The hotel on his right, the Lansdowne Hotel, looked suitable for his purposes. Following an assessment he booked a room for the night." We could go on in that series and in that order. But in the internal world of personal consciousness, we might recall an occasion and muse to ourselves "The hotel was fabulous, a fine hotel of its kind!" We don't need the rule when we narrate our our own world. So in psychotherapy, it's mostly about definites - definite mothers, fathers, husbands, wives or relationships. Recollections are more about the the than the a.