I came across the below passage in a book,

This is not outlier behavior; it’s instead the new normal. When the novelist Jonathan Franzen wrote a piece for the Guardian calling Twitter a “coercive development” in the literary world, he was widely ridiculed as out of touch. The online magazine Slate called Franzen’s complaints a “lonely war on the Internet” and fellow novelist Jennifer Weiner wrote a response in The New Republic

In this statement, author used an article with "novelist" the first time ("When the novelist Jonathan Franzen") but did not use any article the second time ("and fellow novelist Jennifer Weiner").

Is there any reason why the article is excluded the second time?

  • [Why isn't, etc.//passage below//in this statement, the author, etc.]
    – Lambie
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 18:27
  • 1
    FYI- "Below" is not an adjective like "above" is. "Above" is both a preposition and an adjective, so you may properly say "the passage above" or "the above passage." "Below" is only a preposition, though, not an adjective, so you may only properly say "the passage below," not "the below passage." It sounds really weird to put "below" in front of a noun like it's an adjective, but it doesn't sound at all weird to put "above" in front of a noun like it's an adjective. Is it a weird double-standard in English? Yes, but nevertheless, that's the way it is. Look it up in any dictionary. Commented May 21, 2021 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


This is an example of a "false title", as explained here:
Wikipedia false title

[a false title] is a kind of appositive phrase before a noun. It is said to formally resemble a title, in that it does not start with an article, but is a common noun phrase, not a title. An example is the phrase convicted bomber in "convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh", rather than "the convicted bomber..."

That explains the use of "novelist Jennifer Weiner", without an article. The addition of the adjective "fellow" doesn't change that.

To clarify the sense of "false title", examples of real titles are
King George, Pope Leo, President Biden. One would not use an article with any of those.
While novelist isn't a real title, it is used in journalistic style as if it were: novelist Jennifer Weiner.

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