PDA

View Full Version : Why is it called "THE" Ohio State University?


Chessic Sense
01-07-2009, 05:38 PM
Why the superfluous "the"? It sounds pretentious and bothers me every time I hear it. Why do they want to be special?

KneadToKnow
01-07-2009, 05:52 PM
Brand marketing.

The University of South Carolina went through that a while back, trying to brand themselves as "The USC."

kunilou
01-07-2009, 06:02 PM
This was asked a couple of years ago, although the search function is acting up again. IIRC the law establishing a state university said something like "the legislature is authorized to establish and fund the Ohio state university..."

And when the university was incorporated, sure enough the name was listed as The Ohio State University.

I guess we should all be thankful the law wasn't written to say "a single, unified university system for the state of Ohio."

Cliffy
01-07-2009, 06:16 PM
What? It's the state university of Ohio. Ergo, the definite article is appropriate. Like, oh, I don't know, THE University of Pennsylvania.

--Cliffy

Huerta88
01-07-2009, 06:21 PM
Be grateful for the short forms that are in common use. How'd you like to narrate a football game between the Leland Stanford Junior Cardinals and the William Marsh Rice Owls?

freckafree
01-07-2009, 06:22 PM
From The Ohio State University web site:

"Ohio State's roots go back to 1870, when the Ohio General Assembly established the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The new college was made possible through the provisions of the Land-Grant Act, signed by President Lincoln on July 2, 1862. This legislation revolutionized the nation's approach to higher education, bringing a college degree within reach of all high school graduates.

The college's curriculum was a matter of bitter dispute among politicians, the public, and educators. One faction, the "narrow gauge" group, held that the college should devote itself solely to the teaching of agriculture and mechanical arts. The "broad gauge" faction wanted a wider program that featured English and ancient and foreign languages as well. Joseph Sullivant, a member of the first Board of Trustees, pushed the "broad gauge" idea through the Board of Trustees, where it passed by a margin of 8-7. His legacy endures; Ohio State continues to offer a broad-based, liberal arts education and a diverse range of study.

Classes began at the new college on September 17, 1873. Twenty-four students met at the old Neil farm just two miles north of Columbus. In 1878 the college's name was changed to The Ohio State University."

ShibbOleth
01-07-2009, 06:29 PM
What? It's the state university of Ohio. Ergo, the definite article is appropriate. Like, oh, I don't know, THE University of Pennsylvania.

--Cliffy

You're missing the point. Of course it is the Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvannia, the Ohio State Corrections Facility and the cafeteria. What other schools don't do is put a pronounced emphasis on the word "the".

It's as if there is another Ohio State University out there and their alumni and students want to be certain that the two are not confused.

Dogzilla
01-07-2009, 06:39 PM
Misguided arrogance. ;)

<------- Graduate of "The" other Ohio University, which was there first.

:D

panache45
01-07-2009, 07:13 PM
It's as if there is another Ohio State University out there and their alumni and students want to be certain that the two are not confused.

But there are, however, other "state universities" in Ohio, though OSU was the first.

And as freckafree pointed out, OSU was originally "The Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College," which needed the "The." When the name was changed, "The" was retained.

ultrafilter
01-07-2009, 07:15 PM
What? It's the state university of Ohio. Ergo, the definite article is appropriate. Like, oh, I don't know, THE University of Pennsylvania.

--Cliffy

Which is a private school that has no connection to the state of Pennsylvania. The definite article is appropriate, but OSU is the only school I know of that makes a big deal out of it.

bump
01-07-2009, 08:42 PM
For the same reason that UT self-styles themselves "THE University of Texas", or sometimes more obnoxiously "The University", which is because they're arrogant pricks... there are MANY Texas universities, and they just want to pretend that they're special.

seodoa
01-07-2009, 08:42 PM
I agree that it is branding. They are The Ohio State University, rather than just an Ohio State university. There are tons of state universities, including, as before mentioned, Ohio University, which is also a state institution (and even predates OSU by decades). It emphasizes that Ohio State University is their name, not just a description of what they are (a state university located in Ohio).

The University of Michigan (public) is usually referred to with the definite article, even though nobody is arguing that Michigan only has one university. UVA (also public) is usually styled The University of Virginia, and JMU is not objecting. I'm not sure what the big deal is.

Also, ultrafilter, I don't see how it really matters whether the school is public or private.

Freddy the Pig
01-07-2009, 09:14 PM
There are three common name formats for American state universities which include the name of the state:

1. University of (state)
2. (state) University
3. (state) State University

In every case that I know of, except one, format (1) takes the definite article and formats (2) and (3) do not. I have never, ever heard anybody say that they attended "the Michigan State University" or "the Indiana University". It isn't a matter of these schools not emphasizing the definite article, it's a matter of not using it.

Except for the Ohio State University. I guess they like to be different.

GorillaMan
01-07-2009, 09:24 PM
There are three common name formats for American state universities which include the name of the state:

1. University of (state)
2. (state) University
3. (state) State University

In every case that I know of, except one, format (1) takes the definite article and formats (2) and (3) do not. I have never, ever heard anybody say that they attended "the Michigan State University" or "the Indiana University". It isn't a matter of these schools not emphasizing the definite article, it's a matter of not using it.
This much is common sense, and applies to anyone and anywhere else using the English language. It's hard to refer to the University of the West of England or the University of Arts London without the definite article, but, as you say, there's no need for this uncouth Ohio nonsense ;)

panache45
01-07-2009, 09:32 PM
I have never, ever heard anybody say that they attended "the Michigan State University" or "the Indiana University". It isn't a matter of these schools not emphasizing the definite article, it's a matter of not using it.

Except for the Ohio State University. I guess they like to be different.

But people who actually go there don't use it either. In the seven years I went to OSU, I never heard anyone use the "The" in normal speech, or even in normal writing. It's only included in an official context. I was one of the editors of the OSU yearbook for a few years, and most of the time we simply referred to it as "Ohio State" or "OSU." But on the cover or spine or title page, yeah, we had to make sure it was "The Ohio State University.

Contrapuntal
01-07-2009, 09:35 PM
Also, ultrafilter, I don't see how it really matters whether the school is public or private.The post he quoted made that point. He was just responding.

Really Not All That Bright
01-07-2009, 09:42 PM
But people who actually go there don't use it either. In the seven years I went to OSU, I never heard anyone use the "The" in normal speech, or even in normal writing. It's only included in an official context. I was one of the editors of the OSU yearbook for a few years, and most of the time we simply referred to it as "Ohio State" or "OSU." But on the cover or spine or title page, yeah, we had to make sure it was "The Ohio State University.
I watch lots of football and I only noticed it 5-6 years ago (during MNF introductions, natch). I kind of got the impression they were astonished to discover there was a university in Ohio, or something.

JayRx1981
01-07-2009, 09:45 PM
Hell, I was always told it was to differentiate the main campus from all of the branches. And I was a student there for 6 years. *eg*

elmwood
01-07-2009, 09:47 PM
University at Buffalo (http://buffalo.edu/).

Ugh.

freckafree
01-07-2009, 09:56 PM
Except for the Ohio State University. I guess they like to be different.

Yeah! Because -- dare I say it? -- we're BUCKEYES!

Dogzilla
01-07-2009, 10:00 PM
But there are, however, other "state universities" in Ohio, though OSU was the first.


Um. No.

From here (http://ohio.edu/admissions/facts.cfm):
History
Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.

Duckster
01-07-2009, 11:06 PM
Misguided arrogance. ;)

During many pro football telecasts often the descriptions of the players are done by the players themselves. One could easily surmise it is a game of arrogance and oneupmanship when one hears ...

"Fred Blogs, Left Tackle, Arkansas State."
"Job Blow, Left Guard, The University of Alabama."
"Big Ego Jones, Linebacker, THE Ohio State University."

Ohio State is not the only alama mater to receive such "recognition" from its graduate pro football player athletes. It now appears that some universities are joining the self-indulgent ego bravado themselves. During the latest round of bowl games, the University of Miami commercial promoted itself (including using its president Donna Shalala) as "THE U (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_U_(Miami))."

panache45
01-08-2009, 12:25 AM
Um. No.

From here (http://ohio.edu/admissions/facts.cfm):

What I meant was (but wasn't very clear about), it was the first to include the phrase "State University."

panache45
01-08-2009, 12:27 AM
Hell, I was always told it was to differentiate the main campus from all of the branches. And I was a student there for 6 years. *eg*

No, they're all part of the same university, with the same name.

Chessic Sense
01-08-2009, 04:47 AM
But people who actually go there don't use it either.

I got an email today about a chess tournament in Ohio, signed "Sally Blahblah, THE Ohio State University", in caps just like that. That's what prompted this question.

racer72
01-08-2009, 07:27 AM
Be grateful for the short forms that are in common use. How'd you like to narrate a football game between the Leland Stanford Junior Cardinals and the William Marsh Rice Owls?

That is Cardinal. No "S". Their mascot is a tree, not a bird.

tim-n-va
01-08-2009, 08:09 AM
Yeah! Because -- dare I say it? -- we're BUCKEYES!

Perhaps the definite article is needed because they are named for the optical organ of a dead deer? :)

I've always thought that the issue wasn't if the definite article is correct but whether there was really a need to stress it.

Prelude to Fascination
01-08-2009, 08:29 AM
I got an email today about a chess tournament in Ohio, signed "Sally Blahblah, THE Ohio State University", in caps just like that. That's what prompted this question.

I noticed it on MNF as had been said upthread, and just assumed the players were making a big-ass deal about the school. As in, "I'm a bad motherfucker cuz I'm not from just any podunk school, I'm from THE Ohio State University! And don't you forget it!" The marketing angle came to mind, but I'm curious as to who started that...was it "official" (sanctioned by the school), or athletes on their own out of pride (I know about the "The" in the school name, but the recent trend seems to be more of a marketing scheme somehow).

The BUCKEYES were also national champions in 2002 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Buckeyes_football#National_Championships ), and I'm wondering if the most recent trend toward THE Ohio State University started because of, or just after, that championship.

Dogzilla
01-08-2009, 08:38 AM
What I meant was (but wasn't very clear about), it was the first to include the phrase "State University."

You still may not be very clear. OU is the state's first State school. It is public. So they probably saw no reason to use the word State in the name. For about 50 years, it was the only State school in Ohio...


And yes, folks, there is a rivalry between OSU alumni and OU alumni. They have football. We have Halloween. :cool:

Dogzilla
01-08-2009, 08:39 AM
Perhaps the definite article is needed because they are named for the optical organ of a dead deer? :)


Actually, their mascot is a useless nut.

: d & r :

Dogzilla
01-08-2009, 08:40 AM
The BUCKEYES were also national champions in 2002 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Buckeyes_football#National_Championships ), and I'm wondering if the most recent trend toward THE Ohio State University started because of, or just after, that championship.

No, OSU has been using "the" loooong before 2002.

Sigmagirl
01-08-2009, 09:14 AM
OSU has long lobbied newspapers to get them to capitalize "The" in text; as in "Joe Blow, spokesman, for The Ohio State University, said today . . ."

We just laugh at them.

steronz
01-08-2009, 09:18 AM
I got an email today about a chess tournament in Ohio, signed "Sally Blahblah, THE Ohio State University", in caps just like that. That's what prompted this question.

Not sure about Sally's motives, but in my experience it's unusual for OSU students and alumni to make a big deal about the "The" unless they're doing it to intentionally annoy people. I have no idea what came first, but I'm guessing the "The" only became a deal once people from outside the college made it a deal.

For instance, I'll talk about how I went to OSU, and someone will invariably say, "Oh, you went to THE Ohio State University?" Because that's the only bit of trivia they know about the place. Then I'll either roll my eyes and move on, or make some smartass comment about how their college must not have been important enough to warrant a proper article.

It's just one of those things that people talk about, like when I mention the college anyone with any connection with the state of Michigan has to immediately tell me. That gets old.

But I would never prompt the issue by capitalizing the The in a signature.

suranyi
01-08-2009, 12:23 PM
There are three common name formats for American state universities which include the name of the state:

1. University of (state)
2. (state) University
3. (state) State University

In every case that I know of, except one, format (1) takes the definite article and formats (2) and (3) do not. I have never, ever heard anybody say that they attended "the Michigan State University" or "the Indiana University". It isn't a matter of these schools not emphasizing the definite article, it's a matter of not using it.

Except for the Ohio State University. I guess they like to be different.

The official name of one of the schools I attended is "University of California", case 1. No definite article. That's what's on my diploma, which is in front of me as I write. The point is that the official name of "The Ohio State University" includes the definite article, and that's what's so interesting.

Ed

Elendil's Heir
01-08-2009, 01:25 PM
OSU has long lobbied newspapers to get them to capitalize "The" in text; as in "Joe Blow, spokesman, for The Ohio State University, said today . . ."

We just laugh at them.

As well you should. I'm proud to be an Ohioan, and the "The" seems 'way too pompous and preening to me. When Michael Feldman brought his radio show Whaddya Know? on campus a few years ago, he lost no opportunity to mock it. Good on him.

KneadToKnow
01-08-2009, 01:42 PM
When Michael Feldman brought his radio show Whaddya Know? on campus a few years ago, he lost no opportunity to mock it. Good on him.

The nice thing is, it was nothing personal. Michael would have mocked Mother Teresa.

Jackmannii
01-08-2009, 05:05 PM
OSU has long lobbied newspapers to get them to capitalize "The" in text; as in "Joe Blow, spokesman, for The Ohio State University, said today . . ."

We just laugh at them.I occasionally have to send job-related mail to OSU.
I always write "Ohio State University" in the address.

It seems irrelevant if your official name back in the archives is "The Ohio State University". Just call yourself Ohio State University without the self-important article of speech, like most every other place does. And yes, I figured part of the reason OSU is obsessed with emphasizing "The" is because it doesn't want anyone to confuse it with Ohio University, them hicks down south.

Really Not All That Bright
01-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Actually, their mascot is a useless nut.
Wow... that Joe the Plumber gets everywhere.

Mascot, you say?

Best Topics: monty python flagellants dumb usernames smallest screw size soames and irene baby gets hurt dating message boards oi yoi yoi drink extract bullfighting spears bullet proof motor molly sims boobs quacker factory clothing are episcopalians protestant unusual languages highest voltage average head height cracking nose cartilage saline water cvs 3 miles away jenny ncis instep foot frying cum snl subway announcer elongated earlobes slang for died welfare baby private courier toaster bathtub graphite tattoo shipping preferences amazon cold war effects on africa not affected by caffeine how long to boil water in the microwave time between star wars why do amish shave their mustache what does outgoing mail mean can private clubs discriminate how long do burn blisters take to heal is it bad to have too much oil in your car bands with none of the original members tattoos on dogs bellies thank you gift doctor white chocolate bad for dogs fixing up an old car why are toilets white happy dan the whistling dog best epoxy for metal open water 2 ending explained is it worth going to bartending school philips tv remote control not working removing moles from face cost can i pickup my package from fedex smartpost that's the truth truth how big is a 4k movie file is cry wolfe real opera trained rock singers hormel pigs feet recipes do ticks burrow completely under the skin yellow speed limit signs can suicide victims donate organs it is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves difference between pork rinds and cracklins are you gay in spanish