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Conventional grammar

Which is grammatically correct?

at the Eastercon
7(8.8%)
at Eastercon
69(86.2%)
(What is this "Eastercon" you keep going on about?)
4(5.0%)


To keep this poll simpler: take as read that whether or not it needs a definite article for this year, it'll be "an Eastercon" speaking more generally.

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Comments

tisiphone
Apr. 18th, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think either of them are grammatically incorrect. "At Eastercon" is perfectly acceptable, as it is a singular event temporarily fixed in space and thus acts as a proper noun ("at Disney World"). On the other hand, "at the Eastercon" is also correct, since it implicitly refers to a single incidence of an event that is not fixed in time and thus could be considered a class of objects, i.e. not a proper noun ("at the 2012 Olympics"). Personally, I'd probably use "at Eastercon," unless I was referring explicitly to a specific one ("at the 2012 Eastercon").
owlfish
Apr. 18th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
A quick Google search yields about half as many results for "at the Eastercon" as "at Eastercon".

Some of those hits are for specific instances, i.e. "The winning bid is chosen by a vote among the people who attend the bid session at the Eastercon two years in advance"

But many mean it more generally.
"At the Eastercon there is an Art Show"
"The BSFA lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation"
"there's almost always a real ale bar at the eastercon"
cartesiandaemon
Apr. 18th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Hm. I wonder if the usage varies for other cons that sound more like a name or more like a generic descriptor.

(I'd say "did you go to the 2005 Eastercon" but "did you go to Eastercon this year?", but I don't know if I can justify it gramatically.)
tisiphone
Apr. 18th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Arisia is firmly "at Arisia", never "at the Arisia". (Maaayyyybe "at the 2013 Arisia", but more commonly I've heard "at Arisia in 2013.")