Humor of Not Using THE in English is from the book Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, by Jordan Belfort, telling ‘the true story of his spectacular flameout and imprisonment for stock fraud.’
Here are excerpts adapted from the book:
How come these female Russkies couldn’t say the word THE?
Well, whatever. The beauty queen was gorgeous, so her deficiency could easily be overlooked...
Yulia Sukhanova was the first, last, and certain to be only Miss Soviet Union... there would only be Miss Russias going forward...
Yulia had come to America as an ambassador of goodwill, arriving in 1990... Yulia was a propaganda tool: bright, educated, cultured, classy, graceful, charming, and, above all else, drop-dead beautiful. She was meant to represent the very best of what the Soviet Union had to offer and, for that matter, Communism as a whole.
And then the Soviet Union fell... So Yulia decided to stay in the United States and become a model...
Miss Yulia was even weaker in the English department than I had originally expected. I needed to cut her some slack and keep things simple...
“Again, it’s really no big deal, but it sounds kind of funny. It’s sort of hard on the ears.’” I shrugged my shoulders, trying to make light of it.
She let go of my hand. “What do you mean:
hard on ears?”
I said calmly, although a bit of frustration had slipped out around the edges, “and that’s a perfect example of what I mean.”
I took a deep breath and said,
“You never say the word THE, Yulia – ever!
And it’s probably the most commonly used word in the English language!
It gives a certain rhythm to things, a certain flow, and when you don’t say it – like when you just said
‘hard on ears’
or when you say
‘I want to go to store,’
it just sounds funny.
I mean, it sounds like you’re uneducated or something, which I know you’re not.”
I shrugged again, not wanting to make a big deal of it, although I couldn’t help myself. We were spending all our time together, and her bastardization of the English language was starting to get to me.
Besides, I was in love with her, so I felt it was my obligation to teach her – or to train her, so to speak – and lead her gently down the road to a little village called Assimilation.
“Anyway,” I continued, “if you really want to improve your English, I would start with two things: using the word THE and knowing when to add an S to the end of a verb.”
I smiled and grabbed her hand.
“From there, all good things will follow.”
I winked at her.
“And if you want, I could even be your teacher! Every time you make a mistake I can correct –
What are you –
Stop – that hurts!
Owww! Owww! Owwwwwwwwwwwwww!” I screamed.
“Let go of my fingers! You’re gonna break them! Stop!”
“You little puta!” she muttered, as she bent my fingers backward in a KGB finger lock.
“You and your stupid English language – ha! America think they own world!”
thinkS it ownS THE world, I thought, as I screamed,