Leading articles

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Disclaimer: This article is about rules. Its contents are not authoritative. Please consult official rules for up-to-date information.

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The Rules of the Game

A leading article is a grammatical article (e.g. "the", "a", or "an") that comes at the beginning of a work's title. Under both ACF and NAQT rules, the omission of a single leading article from an otherwise correct title does not render an answer incorrect.

This is governed by ACF gameplay rule G7 and by NAQT correctness guideline C4b.

Edge cases

Extraneous articles

As of August 3rd, 2021[1], adding an article to the title of a work which does not have a leading article will not invalidate a response in either the ACF or NAQT ruleset unless it introduces ambiguity with another work which uses that article. Prior to this date, ACF did not allow the addition of an extraneous articles.

Incorrect articles

In both ACF and NAQT rules, providing the wrong leading article for a work will render an answer incorrect.

Examples

The most famous application of these rules involves H. G. Wells's The Invisible Man and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

Answer wanted Answer given Correct in NAQT? Correct in ACF?
"Invisible Man"
(by Ralph Ellison)
"Invisible Man" Yes
This is the exact title of the work.
Yes
This is the exact title of the work.
"The Invisible Man" No
The extraneous leading article "the" has created ambiguity between this work and another, rendering it incorrect.
No
The extraneous leading article "the" has created ambiguity between this work and another, rendering it incorrect.
"An Invisible Man" Yes
The extraneous leading article "an" has not created ambiguity and is thus allowed.
Yes
The extraneous leading article "an" has not created ambiguity and is thus allowed.
"The Invisible Man"
(by H. G. Wells)
"Invisible Man" Yes
Omitting the single leading article does not affect the correctness of this otherwise correct answer.
Yes
Omitting the single leading article does not affect the correctness of this otherwise correct answer.
"The Invisible Man" Yes
This is the exact title of the work.
Yes
This is the exact title of the work.
"An Invisible Man" No
The leading article "an" is not correct.
No
The leading article "an" is not correct.

As of the rules change on August 3rd, there are no differences in how ACF and NAQT deal with leading articles.

References

  1. ACF Gameplay Rules Changes by caroline » Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:25 pm