Talk:Integral Article

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Ding! Integral Article is a featured article, which means it showcases an important part of the Homestar Runner body of work and/or highlights the fine work of this wiki. We also might just think it's cool. If you see a way this page can be updated or improved without compromising previous work, feel free to contribute.



Do we need this article? It is thuroghly obvious that these characters have the as a part of their first name. Perhaps if this is not noted in each of the named characters' transcripts, then it should be added, but I fail to see why this is a necessary article. — Lapper (talk) 20:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Lets try to clean this up a little bit, then see if it is needed. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 20:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Okay then. Let's clean this article up. Don't forget to wash where the sun don't shine. — Lapper (talk) 20:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I created this article, and I don't know how to use pictures, so it was sort of messy. Thanks for cleaning that up for me. -Brightstar Shiner 21:16, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't see a need for this article. Of all the people in the to-do list below and on the page, the only ones that really stand out are The Cheat (and his variations), The Poopsmith, The Paper, and The Homestar Runner. All the rest seem to be general descriptions. The information contained in this article is already on the various pages. Does concentrating it all here really help? — It's dot com 18:13, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Oh come on. Please don't delete it! It's clearly a running gag because 8-10 people/things have that "the" in their name. It's just happened with so many things that you can't just ignore it! -Brightstar Shiner 19:56, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I have no plans to delete it unless there is a consensus to do so. In the meantime, why don't you clean it up to improve its chances of making the cut. Focus on those people you feel are legitimate. But note: things should be in the list at all. It's completely natural to refer to a thing using a definite article. For example, you would say, "Are you going to the mall later?", but that doesn't make "the" part of its name. Likewise, they call it the Stick because it's the only one. The only places where this running gag is noteworthy are in cases like: "Hey, The Cheat, make me some breakfast." In real life, you wouldn't normally address someone like that. — It's dot com 20:06, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
By the way, I just realized where The Stick is addressed that way: labor day. —AbdiViklas 03:20, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I will. I'll have to figure out how to do that and find out exactly how many people apply to this now, but I hope I can save this thing. -Brightstar Shiner 20:19, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

(humoungous sigh)....Oh well. Excluding PseudoCharacters like It's Dot Com over there said, and The Cheat (whose definite article was noted on his character page), all I came up with was The Strong Man, The Homestar Runner, and The Sneak (The Cheat related). If you note somewhere on the Old-Timey page that those guys share the definite article factor, you can delete it. I'm okay with it. -Brightstar Shiner 20:33, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

So..... this thing seems like............ we dont need it. It seems kinda stupid. Just my opionion. — talk Bubsty edits 20:37, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Gee, thanks for pointing out the obvious, Mr-or-Ms-Points-Out-The-Obvious. I think we've already established the fact that my article is stupid and needs to be deleted. Don't make me feel worse! -Brightstar Shiner 20:49, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I have two things to say. One, sorry for yelling at you Bubsty. I was extremely ticked off at the moment. That wasn't nice. And two, will this be deleted or won't it? I don't know. By the discussion above, it seems like someone would've gotten around to deleting it if they really wanted to. But there hasn't been action for days, so I'm kind of puzzled. I want it to stay, personally, but let's not leave ourselves out in the dark, alright? -Brightstar Shiner 18:02, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Hey, cool! After six days of talking to myself on the article here, I guess the page won't be deleted! Of course, if that's the case, why is it still pending deletion? I guess I'll just take it off of the list, then! Here I go!-Brightstar Shiner 21:08, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Wait, don't take the tags off just yet. We haven't reached a consensus. - KookykmanImage:kookysig.gif(t)(c)(r)
I was bluffing. And just being strange. I don't even know how to take the tags off. How long does it take to reach a consensus? STUFF takes two weeks. Does that apply to this, too? -Brightstar Shiner 21:16, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Here, it's just when most of us agree. I think. If an admin came around right now, it might help to ask them. - KookykmanImage:kookysig.gif(t)(c)(r)
This can probably stay for a while and see if it's useful. I just linked to it from another page. — It's dot com 00:06, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry Brightstar. That was an edit I made when I was a boring new person and didn't know anything. — talk Bubsty edits 03:55, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry if this is a little late, but that's okay. I'm not offended.-Brightstar Shiner 21:30, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

To-do list

The Barbershop Trio, The Bossman, The Dapper Swindler, The Demon, The Football Player, The Ghost, The Guys, The Kaiser, The Announcer, The Yello Dello, The Sad Kids, The King of Town, The Poopsmith, The Knight, The Hornblower, The Bishop, The Blacksmith, The Little Chef Guy, The Umpire, The Robot, The Grape Fairie, The Prince of Town, The Jolly Dumple, The Stick, The Goblin, 20X6 The Cheat, The Angel, The Popular Vote, The First Decemberween, The Deathly Pallor, The Thnikkaman, The Red and Blue Knights, The Three Keepers of Trogdor, The Worm, The Dancing Brothers, The Mayor, The Townsfolk

I don't think that all of the characters currently listed in the comments are appropriate for this page. I think that just a name starting with "the" is not the same as having "The" as an actual PART OF the name. For instance, "The King of Town" is addressed directly as "King of Town" whereas "The Cheat" is almost always "The Cheat" i.e. "Hi King of Town" vs. "Hi The Cheat!" Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 21:35, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree. The Red and Blue Knights, the Mayor, and the Townsfolk sound more like general descriptions. — It's dot com 21:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the previous comments.. Let's only put the ones on there that we have actually confirmed have the definite article there (i.e. someone has actually said something to them like "Hey, The Cheat"). The Stick, The Thnikkaman, and The Poopsmith are the only ones on that list I have confirmed so far. -Brightstar Shiner 23:42, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Anything that has not been officially named, but has a "The" in its wiki-name should not be included on this page (The Worm, The Angel, The Demon...). Anything that has a natural "the" in it should not be on the page either (The Townsfolk...). —BazookaJoe 02:44, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Why Strong Man?

Why is Strong Man on this page? What definite article does he have? -Brightstar Shiner 23:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

He is always referred to as The Strong Man whenever someone talks about him. It's kind of a gray area. Much like this page. — It's dot com 23:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I just looked at the Strong Man page. You're right. And changing the name of the gallery picture was a smart idea. -Brightstar Shiner

A note on The Stick.

The Stick should count as a definite article, as in origins, Strong Bad types it as 'The Stick', a proper noun. - KookykmanImage:kookysig.gif(t)(c)(r)

The Ugly One

I went ahead and added The Ugly One to this list in reference to Teen Girl Squad Issue 10, which introduced Manolios Ugly One. Manolios's name suggests that his daughter's first name is "The" and her last name is "Ugly One". In addition, I believe she's been referred to as "The Ugly One" in a sentence once or twice, like "The Ugly One, you can go here". Specific references fail me at the moment, however. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 18:54, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Reference confirmed: In Issue 10, Strong Bad puts himself in the toon to make out with her, and his line is "Why, hello, The Ugly One, you're looking so makey-outy tonight." — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 18:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
It was confirmed before then in theme park, I believe. --Jay v.2021 (Good riddance 2020) 01:41, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you're pwobabwy wight. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 01:46, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I think I has the solution

I like the concept behind this article, but first I'm going to explain at excruciating length what's fatally wrong with it, and then I'll show you how I'm going to fix it.

What I like is a page, particularly in the Running Gags category, explaining how certain names include "The" in constructions where an article would be grammatically inappropriate. This is a feature of the Homestarniverse that is both somewhat pervasive and reasonably unique, thus worth noting.

However, the phrase "The Definite Article" seems to have been latched onto as a label for this, and that's wrong and confusing. You barely have to read Wikipedia's Article article to realize that, in English, any grammatical instance of the word "the" is a definite article. And here we're talking about non-grammatical uses of "The". An article that is not grammatical is scarcely an article at all. I've seen this referred to on the wiki as the "The Cheat Rule", which I like far better because it's more self-describing—this is one of The Cheat's defining characteristics, after all—and because of the apropos doubling of the "the".

The larger problem with this page is it seems to have missed the point. It describes the phenomenon, and then proceeds to list every name that ever had a "the" attached to it, which is completely different and completely unnoteworthy. Just because someone like The Poopsmith is referred to with a definite article frequently—even if the article is capitalized in writing—that does not subject them to the The Cheat Rule because it is not necessarily treating the article as integral to their name. It's no different from The Flash, Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen, or many other instances throughout our language and culture where someone or something is frequently named with an article.

What makes The Cheat and his fellow subjects to the Rule different is that the article is included in defiance of the rules of grammar, something that (to my knowledge) never happens to Bruce Springsteen. For example, the usage "my very own The Cheat" is grammatically bizarre. The Poopsmith, in contrast, has broken the Rule explicitly a number of times, such as the KoT's claim in his own character video that he "employs a Poopsmith".

Of course, this is complicated by the fact that TBC are not necessarily consistent with their application of the Rule, as evidenced on Strong Bad's epitaph: "kicking Cheats in the hereafter". It's also complicated by the fact that instances of a name that confirm the Rule and instances that break the Rule are generally outnumbered by instances that do neither. So it's not always clear whether a given name is subject to the Rule. You have to analyze each appearance case-by-case. But here's a guide.

Use of an article (definite or indefinite) in any of the following contexts where an article is grammatically incorrect confirms that the The Cheat Rule is being applied:

  • When someone or something is being addressed directly by name (i.e., the name is in the vocative case). "High five, The Stick!"
  • Following another article. "Out poured...a The Cheat!"
  • Following an adjectival or possessive phrase. "The Foul Stench of Wet The Cheat" "My very own The Cheat!"
  • Following a number or other quantifier. "500 The Cheats"
  • Very tricky: When the name is plural and it clearly refers to a general population, not to a specific group. For example, suppose Strong Bad's epitaph had read, "kicking the Cheats in the hereafter" (and we pretend for now that capitalization doesn't matter). If he meant some squad of four or five Cheats that we had met previously, this would explicitly break the Rule. (To apply the Rule in this situation, he would have had to use something like "kicking those The Cheats".) If he meant "The Cheats" as a species he would generally kick, it would confirm the Rule.

Any other appearance of an article is grammatically acceptable (although I'm sure someone will think of a few cases I didn't), and thus inconclusive as far as the Rule is concerned. Of course, for an instance to break the Rule, the expected article simply has to be omitted when grammar rules require it to be omitted. So "I don't lets the Poopsmith near it" and "They've stolen my Poopsmith" are both grammatically acceptable (at least as far as articles are concerned); as applications of the Rule, the first sentence is inconclusive while the second one breaks it.

So the proper role of this page, if you ask me, is a list of only those names that have had the The Cheat Rule applied to them in at least one confirmed instance, which wipes out the majority of the current list. However, since the title of the page is also inappropriate, I'm not going to bother editing it. I'm going to make a new page based on this one, open it up for comments, and, if public opinion permits, eventually turn this page into a redirect. --TheNicestGuy 16:34, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

This page suffered severe scope creep somewhere along the way. I believe this is the last version of the article to adhere to the true intent. So I think you're on to something. I don't think, however, that "The Cheat Rule" should be the name of the article. I do see your point about "Definite Article", though. How about "Ungrammatical Definite Article" or "Extra The" or something? — It's dot com 17:07, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Personally, my favored alternate was "Integral Article". Note that the same rule could be applied to an indefinite article, although I don't think there is currently a real example of this. Imagine Strong Bad solidifying the phrase "a cold one" by saying, "Pom Pom, get your... nub... off my a cold one." --TheNicestGuy 19:04, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
My primary objection to [calling this page "The Cheat Rule"] is the title. I've never heard of this (or anything else) referred to as "The Cheat Rule," and I don't think we should make up arbitrary terminology. If there's some precedent that I'm missing, however, please educate me. — InterruptorJones 17:58, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
There's a slight precedent. The phrase is used in the Remarks for the replacement email. It appears to have been coined by JoeyDay, the original author of that page. I chose it as an alternative to "Definite Article" for the reasons stated above, and also as a tongue-in-cheek nod to "No rule is solid" from The Cheat's Yearbook Character Page. I'm not terribly attached to it, but keep in mind we're talking about a usage that has no official name in linguistics because it doesn't conform to proper grammar. And TBC have never, to my knowledge, acknowledged it with a specific term. We have to make up arbitrary terminology. --TheNicestGuy 19:35, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Still, "The Cheat Rule" was coined by us, not them. Even though The Cheat is the most visible member of the club, it seems like the name should be more generic. Other possibilities: "The Names", "Names that begin with The", "Names that always begin with The", "Integral The", "Integral 'The' Names". — It's dot com 20:04, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Names requiring the definite article? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 20:12, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I kinda like "Names beginning with 'The'" the best. Although all of these suggested page titles are pretty awkward sounding. Has Matt? (talk) 20:15, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Even more: "Integral Definite Article", "Integral Initial Definite Article", "Integral Initial The". — It's dot com 20:16, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Like I said, this usage could work with an indefinite article almost as easily as the definite article, so I object to hanging onto that "Definite Article" label. --TheNicestGuy 20:18, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I know we want to keep ourselves flexible, but why should we design our title around what might happen versus what has happened? They seem pretty committed to the "The" construction, and being specific in the title describes their practice better. — It's dot com 20:22, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

It has - A Mighty Warrior. I agree, "Names beginning with an article" might be best. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 20:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any use of "A Mighty Warrior" to date that was ungrammatical, but he does appear to be one step away. I fear "Names beginning with an article", because it almost invites the inclusion of irrelevant names that I just fixed. There are lots and lots and lots of names that generally start with an article. --TheNicestGuy 21:18, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Since the discussion about the page name petered out without a consensus or any action, but there is some agreement that "Definite Article" is insufficient, I'm going to "be bold" and move it to "Integral Article". And I'll clean up some of the wording to fit that. If you're not happy with the change, let's keep wranglin'. --TheNicestGuy 13:41, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

An Ice Machine

Shouldn't "An Ice Machine" from the Stinkoman game be added? He or it is refered to with the article.

An interesting question. The only place the name appears is in the Stinkomanual, right? He doesn't fit the grammatical guidelines above, but since the article appears in two places (the page header and the quote source) where you would expect to see a bona fide name, I would say he merits a mention. Thanks! My distaste for "definite article" has now been vindicated! --TheNicestGuy 23:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Another instance of a lowercase "the" for The Cheat

Strong Mad hugging "the" Cheat

While working on Strong Mad Smiling, I uploaded the image to the right. I noticed it was another example of a lowercase "the" for The Cheat. I know we don't list them all in the article, but I figured I would add it here, if only for future reference. -- Tom 22:04, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I was tempted to include a complete list of cases where The Cheat had been named without an article, since it's rare and somewhat interesting. But since I can't decide if or how something like this would figure into it, I think I'll leave well enough alone. --TheNicestGuy 15:52, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Da Huuuuuudge?

Would the "Da" in Da Huuuuuudge count? It looks pretty much like part of its name.--DumDe 09:34, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Although it is an improper article, with the exception of Sterrance, all the made up animals created from names are introduced with an article (the red steckled elberming, the pardack) alhtough this is only capitalised in the case of Da Huuuuuudge. There is also no use where it violates grammar (apart from Da not being an article) and one use (in marzipan's line in animal) where the article is omitted to give correct grammar. My opinion is that the article is part of its name due to it being "Da" rather than "the", but is not worthy for this page as it is still used as "the" would be. DumbMuscle 21:49, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

The Denzel

The Denzel would be another instance. This is The Cheats "security item" in Bedtime Story.

I agree. It's hard to confirm, but it can be deduced that it makes more sense that the "The" functions as an integral article. —BazookaJoe 02:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

The modern The Homestar Runner

This page leaves out the curious examples of the modern The Homestar Runner. Granted, the article is no longer supposed to be integral to the name, but a few times it can be used as such &mash; even recently (pop-up, which I just enjoyed viewing) — usually to allude to its introductory use. I think it can be worked into the article (that is, encyclopedia) to provide some interesting tidbits. —BazookaJoe 02:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

The Unguraits?

What about the Unguraits? Since they have a "the" in the name, they just might be a candidate for this page!--Dwedit 16:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

No they wouldn't. There is only one reference to the Unguraits on the site, and the article in that case is not necessarily integral. If there were quotes relating to them with abnormal construction such as "My fellow The Unguraits..." or "I'll just call my local The Unguraits." then it would make sense. As it stands though it doesn't look like such a quote will appear. PolarBoy 17:16, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

A Liekand and The Ice Machine

It seems to me that the liekand and an ice machine are not necessarily instances of the integral article. In both cases where the Liekand is mentioned the article could just as well indicate a title or that he is in some other way the only Liekand in existence and that his name could be Paul, Bradley or Dumpus and he'd still be the liekand just like the president's name is George W. Bush but he is still commonly rerferred to as the president. An ice machine is a little more iffy. On the one hand it's more obvious that an ice machine is descriptive of what he is. He is a machine that makes ice. The thing that makes this one stand out gramatically is that he is named as "an ice machine" when he is quoted, whereas this lacks the specificity one would expect from a citation, indicating that it really is his name. Basically I don't think they should be included because of the indefiniteness of their references. PolarBoy 17:30, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The Ladies

What about "The Ladies," as in an emal where they just..

"Wait it out"

Coach Z says, "You said there'd be The Ladies."

Actually, that was Bubs (in 2 emails). But it's a neat example anyways. Just not very used, like most other integral articles. --DorianGray

Nobody Buy the Blue Ones!

The blue ones (appearing in bug in mouth disease) are referred to as "the blue ones", though when strong sad mentions boolean operators, he says "blue and ones" without reference to The. Would this count as another integrated article instance?

I think it would. No, I really don't see why not. Like The Cheat. 'The' isn't always used-Image:Bubs.gif Sluggy42(Talk|Cont.) 22:02, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I thought myself out of it. Nevermind. Just like above, the list of characters including The King of Town, The Barbershop Trio, etc, this isn't actually named THE blue ones. Think of it this way, would it make sense if you left out 'the'? If so, it probably belongs here. However, such is not the case. -Image:Bubs.gif Sluggy42(Talk|Cont.) 22:12, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The Slickster

How about this one? The Slickster is the name of a town on the Cool Tapes tour route. Anyoe have anything against putting that on here? -Image:Bubs.gif Sluggy42(Talk|Cont.) 22:06, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

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