Why is it called "THE" Ohio State University?

Um. No.

From here:

During many pro football telecasts often the descriptions of the players are done by the players themselves. One could easily surmise it is a game of arrogance and oneupmanship when one hears …

“Fred Blogs, Left Tackle, Arkansas State.”
“Job Blow, Left Guard, The University of Alabama.”
“Big Ego Jones, Linebacker, THE Ohio State University.”

Ohio State is not the only alama mater to receive such “recognition” from its graduate pro football player athletes. It now appears that some universities are joining the self-indulgent ego bravado themselves. During the latest round of bowl games, the University of Miami commercial promoted itself (including using its president Donna Shalala) as “THE U.”

What I meant was (but wasn’t very clear about), it was the first to include the phrase “State University.”

No, they’re all part of the same university, with the same name.

I got an email today about a chess tournament in Ohio, signed “Sally Blahblah, THE Ohio State University”, in caps just like that. That’s what prompted this question.

That is Cardinal. No “S”. Their mascot is a tree, not a bird.

Perhaps the definite article is needed because they are named for the optical organ of a dead deer? :slight_smile:

I’ve always thought that the issue wasn’t if the definite article is correct but whether there was really a need to stress it.

I noticed it on MNF as had been said upthread, and just assumed the players were making a big-ass deal about the school. As in, “I’m a bad motherfucker cuz I’m not from just any podunk school, I’m from THE Ohio State University! And don’t you forget it!” The marketing angle came to mind, but I’m curious as to who started that…was it “official” (sanctioned by the school), or athletes on their own out of pride (I know about the “The” in the school name, but the recent trend seems to be more of a marketing scheme somehow).

The BUCKEYES were also national champions in 2002 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Buckeyes_football#National_Championships ), and I’m wondering if the most recent trend toward THE Ohio State University started because of, or just after, that championship.

You still may not be very clear. OU is the state’s first State school. It is public. So they probably saw no reason to use the word State in the name. For about 50 years, it was the only State school in Ohio…
And yes, folks, there is a rivalry between OSU alumni and OU alumni. They have football. We have Halloween. :cool:

Actually, their mascot is a useless nut.

: d & r :

No, OSU has been using “the” loooong before 2002.

OSU has long lobbied newspapers to get them to capitalize “The” in text; as in “Joe Blow, spokesman, for The Ohio State University, said today . . .”

We just laugh at them.

Not sure about Sally’s motives, but in my experience it’s unusual for OSU students and alumni to make a big deal about the “The” unless they’re doing it to intentionally annoy people. I have no idea what came first, but I’m guessing the “The” only became a deal once people from outside the college made it a deal.

For instance, I’ll talk about how I went to OSU, and someone will invariably say, “Oh, you went to THE Ohio State University?” Because that’s the only bit of trivia they know about the place. Then I’ll either roll my eyes and move on, or make some smartass comment about how their college must not have been important enough to warrant a proper article.

It’s just one of those things that people talk about, like when I mention the college anyone with any connection with the state of Michigan has to immediately tell me. That gets old.

But I would never prompt the issue by capitalizing the The in a signature.

The official name of one of the schools I attended is “University of California”, case 1. No definite article. That’s what’s on my diploma, which is in front of me as I write. The point is that the official name of “The Ohio State University” includes the definite article, and that’s what’s so interesting.


As well you should. I’m proud to be an Ohioan, and the “The” seems 'way too pompous and preening to me. When Michael Feldman brought his radio show Whaddya Know? on campus a few years ago, he lost no opportunity to mock it. Good on him.

The nice thing is, it was nothing personal. Michael would have mocked Mother Teresa.

I occasionally have to send job-related mail to OSU.
I always write “Ohio State University” in the address.

It seems irrelevant if your official name back in the archives is “The Ohio State University”. Just call yourself Ohio State University without the self-important article of speech, like most every other place does. And yes, I figured part of the reason OSU is obsessed with emphasizing “The” is because it doesn’t want anyone to confuse it with Ohio University, them hicks down south.

Wow… that Joe the Plumber gets everywhere.

Mascot, you say?