Antje (dieastra) wrote,
Antje
dieastra

"Doctor" and "baby" without noun markers

I just posted this entry in the community linguaphiles but I thought I put it into here as well, as I know you all love a good discussion once in a while and maybe we all learn something new by it! If you want to check the replies in the comm, the entry is here: http://linguaphiles.livejournal.com/5988669.html

Hi, I'm from Germany and I am wondering about something that I repeatedly encounter recently in the British TV series "Call the midwife" (which is set in London in the 1950s if that is important).

I am pharaphrasing here, but there are often sentences spoken by the nurses and sisters which go like "I'll call doctor and he'll check whether baby is okay."

For me this sounds odd, as I would say "I call THE doctor so he can make sure YOUR baby is okay." Why are there no noun markers with those two specific words? Are there other words like that? You would not do this with "girl" or "boy" would you?

And on a side note, I also find it a bit odd that in the English language men for example apparently refer to their wife as just "the wife" and not proudly "my wife" as it is in Germany. It seems a bit impersonal. Do they also say "the boy" instead of "my boy"?

I am always trying to improve my English so I am musing about these things and why there is this difference. Many thanks for your help!
Tags: language, real life
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