I think "THE" should be the first word in the title, but it's the last (separated by a comma).
I've seen this with names (contact list in old phones), but I guess that was correct.

Is this correct? What's the name of this form, and why would anyone use this?

  • 1
    Note that "the" is the first word of the title. Moving the "the" to the end with a comma is just a way of displaying the title for cataloguing purposes. Like how names in a phone directory are typically listed in the format "Smith, Mr John".
    – nnnnnn
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


I don't know if the form has a name, but usually 'The' is moved to the end of titles when they're in an alphabetically sorted list, so that it sorts by the first meaningful world of the title.

This is because sometimes people don't realize the official title has a 'The' in it, or they assume it does when it does not.

Some systems, like Steam, leave 'The' in place, but ignore it when sorting.

  • 6
    Yes, although nowadays when lists are not sorted with the at the end it's harder to find what you want, because you have to scroll or go through all the titles that start with the. For instance, if I want to find The Elder Scrolls it is much quicker to look under Elder Scrolls, The than The Elder Scrolls. Part of the reason is because the is the most used word in English (and so you have to scroll through a great many titles that start with the), part is because, as you say, it makes sense to order or alphabetize according to the first content word. Commented May 20, 2016 at 18:42
  • 3
    This is also done with "a" :)
    – Catija
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 19:03
  • 4
    Hence the old English office joke (before computers): "Where should I file this document?" "Oh, just put it under T for 'The' - nobody will ever want to find it again!".
    – alephzero
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 23:41

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