I frankly, freely, and honestly confess that I have been entirely wrong about a particular thing, over which through the years I've endlessly fussed, and that issue, and my sudden illumination and change of heart and mind was brought about by this friendly and deeply insightful post on this website's forum:

Considering that and taking into account that on one occasion the Doctor JPF mentioned that each nation or people has precisely and only for that nation an Archangel in charge or obligated for,implying that under the command of that Archangel are also numerous angels in charge of , or obligated for each person or individual separately, I wonder and ask myself and all of you folks here ,what all those Archangels and angels are doing right now if anything, in the context of the current wars in Ukraine and Israel?
And no I am not saying The Ukraine deliberately just as I will not say The Israel on purpose, or The USA for that matter.

All of a sudden, the thick clouds of grammatical darkness that had long laid over my heart began to dissipate, and suddenly, I began to understand why people like John "Ketchup" Kerry or Senator Lindsey Grahamcracker were so insistent on calling that country simply "Ukraine" and not, as I and countless archaic generations had been taught, "The Ukraine."

Emboldened by my new-found illumination courtesy of this absolutely and totally persuasive argument, I began to see that the whole issue boils down to "The Ukraine" being like "The Israel". Why, it was simply a matter of common usage. No one says the latter, and it's perfectly clear why: there is some sort of "rule" in the English language  - woops, I meant simply, "English language" (patience, I'll get the hang of it eventually!) - that says this is good English, and that's bad English.  I decided to look up the matter of why and when "The Ukraine" became simply Ketchup Kerry and Lindsey Grahamcracker's "Ukraine".  I found this;

Why Did "The Ukraine" Become Just "Ukraine"?

Here we read the following:

Until a few decades ago, Ukraine was almost always referred to as the Ukraine. Then people started dropping the definite article, and now you almost never see it. What gives?

The the has stirred up a lot of strong resentment in Ukraine. The feeling is that the definite article’s heavy use during the era of the Soviet Union by Russians and Westerners alike belittled, intentionally or not, Ukrainians, and demoted Ukraine from a country unto itself to a mere Soviet holding, a border region of the U.S.S.R.


Since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, use of the article has declined steadily, in part because of the Ukrainian government expressing their preference for dropping it. In the Google ngram searches below, you can see the Ukraine fall and Ukraine rise (sharply) right around the country’s declaration of independence in 1991, both in reference to the country, and (more so) to things in it.

Today, the Ukraine is considered antiquated and insulting, and using it in well-informed company is a bad idea.

Suddenly the scales fell from my eyes, my heart was turned from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh, the fog on my mind cleared completely. The "the" in "the Ukraine" had dropped because the government of the Ukraine - woops, sorry! Old habits die hard! - found it offensive.  I'm a little confused about the statement "Since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, use of the article has declined steadily in part because of the (sic) Ukrainian government expressing their preference for dropping it", because it was my understanding that the Ukrainian and Russian languages have no definite or indefinite articles, as in Sovietski Soyuz Socialistichestnik Respubliki, no "the" in "the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" in Russian. So how could they have called it "the" Ukraine? I'm confused.

But I get principle: we should adjust grammar of language of us to suit feelings and dictates of another culture and government and of grammar of language of them. In fact, our insistence on flouting our definite and indefinite article privilege on cultures and languages of them which being constantly deprived of such grammatical conveniences is really a case of cultural colonialism and I would aver, White Patriarchy and Male Privilege. We should, on contrary, abandon use of definite and indefinite articles everytime everywhere and always in everyday speech and writing of us to accommodate Russian and Ukrainian speaking brethren and sistern of us to see exactly how they feel having been denied definite and indefinite articles.  Of course, we are going to have to "slavophilicize" language of us to accommodate this process. For example, Shakespeare, who is already so outmoded and archaic and yesterday, is going to have to get a thorough cleaning and updating of language of him.  In process of this Slaviphilification of English, we must also be careful to avoid other grammatical privileges such as infinitival forms of  verb "to be", and Shakespeare falls far short here as well.  While we are at this project, we might as well rid him of those archaicisms and ways that people no longer talk and give word people use now in places of words people used then.

We are all familiar with these lines (and oh how it pains me now to write them):

To be or not to be - that is the question -

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer (oh boy are we in deep doodoo)

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep,

No more, and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to,

'tis a consummation

devoutly to be wished.

Well, this will never do, because those lines are just chock full of definite articles, infinitives, and all sorts archaic words and expressions no one uses any more and which deprive Russian and Ukrainian speaking brethren and sistern of us of enjoyment of Shakespeare. (And while we're at it, is it just me or has anyone noticed that even name "Hamlet" is very insulting to Muslim and Jewish brethren and sistern  of us, since they can't have pork, and thus might not be able to enjoy Shakespeare's "Hamlet"? We should not change his/her/its name to "Beeflet," because that would be insulting and exclusive to Hindus, because cows are to them sacred. So I propose, in keeping with play's Scandinavian setting, that his/her/its name be "Swedonormarklet", so as not to be exclusive of Norway and Sweden in play's otherwise complete Danocentrism.)  So here is modest proposal for updating and Slaviphilification of these lines of him:

Being or not, that is question; whether it's better in brain putting up with projectiles and munitions of dumb luck, or getting armaments against churning ocean, and by total warfare, end them? Dying, sleeping, those things no more; and by sleeping saying we end sores on heart and thousand natural concussions that flesh having putting up with in life, it's end for intensely thinking and hoping.

Granted, that's little wooden, but I'm sure that with enough tweaking, we can get it past all departments of censorship everywhere. We must beware of offending anyone because of grammatical assumptions and rules of language of us. And because all conventions of all languages are probably offensive to someone somewhere, it's best not saying anything at all on anything ever. Granted, it is of piece with thinking reality changing or sex changing by insisting on made-up pronouns everyone else must use.

Or we can do the obvious, simple, and far less confusing thing, and tell the government of the Ukraine that it has no jurisdiction over the grammar of the English language, and neither do Ketchup Kerry or Lindsey Grahamcracker, and to man up, and take those definite articles in stride.

So, yes, I'm sticking with the Netherlands, the United States, the USA, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the Ukraine, and India, Japan, Australia, Palestine, and Israel, because that's the way the English works.

See you on the flip side...

Posted in

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".

No Comments

  1. xtuart b on November 3, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I have a feeling that the use of the (in general) definite article in front of a proper noun represents ‘adjectivalisation’, with a corresponding noun appended or implicit. This doesn’t always work (qv The Netherland(s) or The Phillippine(s) where the appendation is simply a pluralisation), but for The United (Kingdom), The United (States of America) it works well. In the case of The Ukraine, it could be that there is an implied noun appendage such as Region.
    Come to think of it,, if you split the names thus: The Nether (Lands) and The Philip ([p] Ines) the rule does apply quite nicely, after all.

    • xtuart b on November 3, 2023 at 8:14 pm

      With The Ukraine, I mean that the implicit appended noun is unwelcome, as the implication is one of non-sovereignty. That would explain the touchiness.

  2. Brendan on November 3, 2023 at 2:38 am

    Every time I listen to interviews where it is referred to as just Ukraine I almost say out loud (have a few times) “It’s THE Ukraine, you idiot!”

  3. Mejkai on November 3, 2023 at 2:15 am

    Ascension of headgear for modest proposal belonging to grammar ingestion.

  4. Michael UK on November 2, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    Surely it is time to summon The Doctor and ask him to deal with The Daleks and their crazy leader Davros waging relentless war in The Middle East!

  5. Whistlin'Dixie on November 2, 2023 at 7:24 am

    The (good) Dr. Farrell

  6. Reka-Agota Kvalsund on November 2, 2023 at 6:58 am

    We do not need fear ETs,aliens to “confuse” us, to put it very midly.
    We are doing a pretty good job with that ourselves.
    But I `d like to hear what the Archangels have to say about all this nonsense…
    And I am sticking to the “the” article where it is due, too.

  7. Nidster - on November 2, 2023 at 1:47 am

    According to Wikipedia and other sources the issue really boils down to being either ‘politically in style’, or ‘politically out of style’. Therefore, it is ‘politically incorrect’ if a person refers to the country as ‘the Ukraine’ because after the Soviets gave Ukraine its independence in 1991 the use of ‘the Ukraine’ has become politicised. Current ‘style guides’ advise against its use. US ambassador William Taylor said that using “the Ukraine” implies disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. The ‘world’s’ official position is that “the Ukraine” is both grammatically and politically incorrect. A question remains since the Soviets are no longer in power: Will the World now allow the Russians to regain its former possession?

  8. cobo on November 1, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    I have a history of important, to me, events happening on October 31. I follow no one and nothing but my own path, so I don’t care about how that date is otherwise used. I read, to the end, your “Ekur” yesterday. It did prompt me to order two more of your books. You see, that day, I had posted this: – to that part of my flow I have on Facebook. So, much, really much, of your work is becoming quite important to me. But this is why you won’t like me… I consider your books as really important to me, and springboards for additional inquiry. Your interviews, primarily on Dark Journalist, are fantastic. But, your innate prejudices, on display here in your “community,” F it all up. That’s the whole thing about proclaiming, no matter how nuanced, your superior knowledge – none of it matters except who is left standing, so to speak, when the bell tolls.

  9. ats on November 1, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    You almost made me spit out my drink, while I rudely read this post sitting at the dinner table. I just managed to catch myself. Well played Dr. Farrell!

  10. adspiro on November 1, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    The whole thing is doubly stupid when one reflects on the fact that the word ‘Ukraine’ is derived from the Russian for ‘borderland’, or ‘frontier’. Cf.

    If Zelensky et al really want to make a point, they should change the name of the country back to Kievan Rus, which entity centred on Kiev and predated the Russian nation. But they probably don’t even know this.

  11. eddyminimum on November 1, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    God Bless Earth

    della regnum ignus

  12. Michael UK on November 1, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Also The Lebanon, The Gambia, The Congo, The United Arab Emirates, The Moon, The Sun, The Solar System, The Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe, The Cosmos.

  13. nrg on November 1, 2023 at 9:57 am

    I’m reminded of the anecdote from John Edensor Littlewood that Bertrand Russell “said once, after some contact with the Chinese language, that he was horrified to find that the language of Principia Mathematica was an Indo-European one.”

    “To be or not to be – that is the [Indo-European] question”

    For a thorough treatment of the Indo-European context of Ancient Greek ontology and a knock-down defense against the Frege-Russel criticism which states Ancient Greek ontology is nonsense because it elides the distinction between the ‘is’ of identity and the ‘is’ of existence:

    And here’s a fantastic anthology applying Kahn’s insights across the entire history of western logic:

  14. Billy Bob on November 1, 2023 at 9:21 am

    Now that you put it that way, as a traditionalist, yes one can add words to the English language but not change the age old definitions of current words or the rules of grammar.

  15. CaireannW on November 1, 2023 at 8:50 am


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