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A couple of days ago, my friend and I were both reading and analyzing a Newsweek so we came across a some kind of strange grammar that I couldn't find a reason to justify. Here's the quote (the Newsweek, back in June 15, 2009):

Steven Cook, who asserts that the Bush administration's funding of democracy programs in Egypt not only failed etc.

  1. As far as I know names like Bush, Steve and so forth they wouldn't start with a the before the name itself. And surprisingly about administration's apostrophe. Would we also use apostrophe with other nouns beside names?

In some paragraphs later, we found another strange one as quoted below:

The Obama administration should learn from the fair but tough incentives built into the Helsinki etc.

  1. The contrary as you see, the Obama administration here differs slightly in a apostrophe. why not using the Obama's administration?

To sum up the questions, what I'm confused about are:

1st, Why Bush and Obama got added a 'the' before the nouns like the Obama and the Bush, why not simply Bush and Obama?

2nd, I'd like to know why the writer didn't use something like Bush's funding administration or Obama's administration, rather than that the names started with the?

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    "Bush's funding administration" is meaningless in any context. The Saxon genitive in all of these cases applies to the nouns (administration, e.g.) and not to their modifiers. Likewise, the definite articles apply to the nouns, not to their modifiers (Bush or Obama.) Funding belongs to administration. You are parsing the sentences incorrectly. (Newsweek is a proper name and should take no article.) – P. E. Dant Sep 19 '16 at 6:03
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Regarding your first question...

Steven Cook, who asserts that the (Bush administration's) funding of democracy programs in Egypt not only failed etc.

and

The (Obama) administration should learn from the fair but tough incentives built into the Helsinki etc.

The nouns used for determining article use are "funding" and "administration", not the names. You can leave the () parts out and the sentences are still grammatical and basically mean the same thing.

Regarding your second question, Bush's funding administration would have a different (and unlikely) meaning, since you changes the subject from funding to administration.

BTW, Newsweek is a proper name, so no article is used.

  • that was quite an explanation, let's see what ideas others have though. – Devin Hudson Sep 18 '16 at 23:26
  • @DevinHudson - user3169's answer is correct. Parse the sentences as he suggests, without the parentheticals, and you will understand. (Newsweek is a proper name, like Interstellar. Would you refer to that movie as The Interstellar?) – P. E. Dant Sep 19 '16 at 6:11

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