Grist to the Mill

22 July, 2004


"It's just called 'The Bible' now - we dropped the word 'holy' to give it a more mass-market appeal." - Hodder & Stoughton

Using the definite article ('the') as an integral part of a name signifies a one-of-a-kind/one-off commodity. Since most of us know what the bible is, was it necessary to further define it with an adjective? Perhaps the word 'holy' was always unnecessary. I can't think of qualitative adjectives in other well-known titles.

I can vaguely recall seeing books called 'Holy Bible' (as opposed to 'Bible'), but only just, which shows how quickly things are accepted/forgotten. I wonder when H & S (Hodder Headline, these days) took this decision and whether it affected sales.

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