Articles

by Benjamin Ong

1. Every person has a residence; every student a set of notes; every company an audit committee.  And so the world is full of small localised narratives and blobs of pride: but each of these things is only “a person”, “a student”, “a company” — as is a book “a book”, or a pin “a pin”, or a hat “a hat”.  So the indefinite article instantiates encapsulated forms.  It is somewhat funny how object-oriented programming mirrors reality in this respect, for it is amusing to institutionalise this way of looking at things.

2. The definite article, in comparison, seems finicky — “the potatoes”, “the bathroom”, “the towel”.  “The” is an act of defiance, a wilful suspension of the knowledge of good and evil and the vastness of reality.  “The” is a sad word; “a”, on the other hand, is a creator of Life.  Only God may use “the” to create — “the heavens and the earth”; “the waters”, “the wild animals”.  In a sense, one could see the vast majority of instances of “the” as controlled bubbles of blasphemy.

3. These are some of the reasons why I like possessive pronouns in comparison.

Advertisements