This word is defined by definition defining itself. Hence it is
called the definite article. It only exists
in the present tense as the and the gerund, thing.
The is usually regarded as the fourth word
in the English lexicon aftera, be and see. This has however been
attributed to a confusion between its original spelling with a
'thorn', a disused letter unavailable in this font, but which
looked like a 'd' with a cross on the high stroke. This letter was
pronounced 'th' and was later debased to 'y', as in 'ye olde tea shop'. Here the 'y' was always
pronounced 'th' until it dropped from use. It only attained a 'y'
pronunciation when the spelling was revived as an anachronism.
Of course during the seventeenth centre there was a party who
maintained that the was the first word in
the English lexicon, quoting the testament of St. John: "In the
beginning was the word". These people,
called Theists held that the universe began
with defintion defining itself, and that definition existed outside
time but without definition. (See "Theses of
the Theists"). This was contested by the
anists who promulgated their "Several Indefinite Articles of Faith"
who adopted a more intuitive approach. They suggested that
definition must not only have been without definition, but in fact
indefinite. This current quickly fragmented into a variety of sects
who all maintained some but not all of the
"Several Indefinite Articles of Faith" of the founding Synod. One
faction, the Atheists tried to develop a
compromise arguing that it was impossible to have definion without
indefinition, and that the two were yoked together. They reasserted
all the "Several Indefinite Articles of
Faith" but declared these to be "The
Indefinite Articles of Faith" to which they added "Several Definite
Articles of Faith" which embodied many of the "Theses of the Theists".
Unfortunately this stimulating debate was brought to a halt with
the supression of the Batavian
Revolution and the execution of nearly all of the participants.
The only survivor was a certain Florian Cramer, who established
a dynasty which has continued this debate amongst all his
descendants. As Cramer
established a tradition of calling all his children Florian Cramer, a habit which
they have maintained to this day, much of this modern debate
between the several hundred Florian Cramers no living is
almost impossible for an outsider to unravel. Should an
investigator enquire whether a particular
Florian Cramer is
the Florian Cramer responsible for
a particular tract, the response will not so much depend on a
correct or incorrect identity, but rather on the position of the
particular individual in the debate.
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