The

March 10, 2009 at 8:58 am | Posted in The Knave | 3 Comments
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“The” is an utterly unnecessary word imposed upon languages such as English, American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealandese by German tyrant and ink tycoon Johannes Gutenberg.  Gutenberg loved nothing more than money and a desire to capitalize on ink profit margins led him to introduce such dumkopf words as “der”, “die”, “das”, “den”, and “dem” to his own language, mucking up everything and earning a tidy profit. Those who wanted his precious printing press were forced to add extra words to otherwise efficient languages just to increase ink demand worldwide.  French people began using “le”, “la”, “l’”, and “les”. In Spain, newspapers suddenly were filled with “el”, “la”, “lo”, “los”, and “las”.  Portuguese and Italians suffered similar fates.  It was only due to an extraordinary act of patriotism by a man named William Caxton that English experienced a slightly lesser evil.  No matter how long Gutenberg tortured Caxton, William would not submit to so many extra unnecessary words.  After eleven years, seeing murder in Gutenberg’s eyes, Caxton was forced to give in for fear that Johannes would simply find another Englishman to alter the language and spread Gutenberg’s ink empire to the British Isles.  He capitulated and reluctantly accepted a single superfluous word. Johannes Gutenberg is now long dead, but it is in tribute to William Caxton, a true hero, that we continue to use this word in our language to this day, despite how incredibly expensive ink cartridges are and how asinine it is to use such a stupid combination of three letters.  Still, as much as we wish to honor Caxton, when it comes to absurd, nonsensical, and meaningless words, this word is “the” definite article. – The Knave

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