- This article concerns an English policy on language in the 18th century. For other meanings, see holocaust.
“"I SAID GLASS OF JUICE, NOT GAS THE JEWS!"!”
“They where at the wrong place, at the wrong time!”
“In Soviet Russia, six million Jews kill YOU!!!”
“Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories”
“I have never heard of the holocaust.”
“Mmmmmmm, I'm just sitting here thinking about the holocaust.”
The The Holocaust was a policy of systematic extermination of all instances of the word the carried out in 18th century Britain by William Pitt's National Suppress Definite Articles Party (NSDAP for short).
In the summer of 1733 the political theorist Ingrid Finitarticel first publish her influential treatise entitled " "The" - a word our civilisation could do without", shortly to be followed by her famous polemic in the popular periodical The Gentleman's Word-killing Weekly -- "The wants to eat your children and poison your wells". The latter article caused such public panic, than the Prime Minister of the day, William Pitt the Middle-Aged, thought it would politically expedient to allay public fears by passing the "Acte, for makynge itt Crimminall to Uyse Definitte Artycles inne Englyshe, 1750. The punishment for the crime was initially death, but was quickly commuted to a slap on the wrist (called "a wristslap" at the time, to avoid using "the") after the English rope-shortage of 1736.
Problems with the legislation
Although at first welcomed by the nervous English public, people initially over-estimated the scale of the new law, and soon problems arose due to the sheer number of convictions arising from it. These were particularly prevalent amongst the literary and clerical classes, who, used to writing freely, found it an immense strain to forgo all uses of the definite article. An example follows of an excerpt from the recently-republished Book of Common Prayer of the year 1738:
Indefinite Articles of Faith: I believe in a Holy Trinity; a father, a son and a holy ghost. I believe that a Christ died on a cross for some sins of a world. I believe in a life after a death in a Kingdom of a Heaven. [...]
Such was the outcry of the established church (then officially known as A Church of England), that Pope Jean-Luc Picard 'The Definite' issued a Papal Bull against Pitt's government. This Bull, however, never reached England, being fatally distracted by the large number of china shops while on its way though Paris.
Problems with policing speech
It was, however. the uneducated commoners of the period who presented the greatest problem to the law enforcers. In a paper published in the Analects of the Royal Society of Psychiatric Phyisick, noted psychologist King George III suggested that so many commoners were falling foul of the law because they "lack inn their myndes sufficiente poweres of concentraysione thatt God willing we should alle be possessed of in this Great Land of Oakes moste Holy...".
This diagnosis led to the creation of the most remembered policy of the The Holocaust - the creation of so-called 'Concentration camps' to which common people were sent in order to help them concentrate better and thereby avoid using the word the in everyday speech. At their height, there were as many of 30 of these camps across the country, modeled on the boot camps of the English colonies in the New World which had recently been discovered by the eccentric potato salesman Sir Francis Drake less than 300 years previously. Inside Concentration Camps, inmates were forced to translate Virgil and Pliny into Latin, avoiding all definite articles. Few are thought to have made it out alive.
The End of the The Holocaust
The English persecution of the definite article was not received well on the international stage. In particular, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, Hans Franz von Wilhelm was a particular advocate of this article, and had previously stated his wishes to invade England to come to its aid as early as 1734. Diplomacy between the two countries came to a head in 1739, when the Holy Roman Emperor reportedly had a dream in which God instructed him to invade the British Isles immediately and restore the holy and inalienable right of all free peoples to be specific about what they are referring to. Because the definite article in German (Das, Die and Der) all begin with the letter D, the Germans code-named this operation D-Day, and swamped the ports of Britain with rabid hoards of grammar-thirsty fighting men, who were to speak loudly and very specifically, with a stereotypical German accent, about every individual thing they saw on their march to London. Eventually, after much argument, Pitt relented to the invading forces and rescinded the 1733 law in an treaty known as the The Glorious Revolution of 1745.
Although regarded as one of history's greatest Crimes against language, the effects of the The Holocaust have largely dissipated by the present day. The policy's only enduring legacy is in some British schools, where text books and the education system in general have not been updated since the 18th century, and in which the old rules are still taught.