The Beatles vs. the Beatles

Wikipedians who won't let it be are searchin' for the answer to that very question:

For some eight years, editors at the online encyclopedia have been debating whether the article "the" should be uppercased when referring to the band. Is it "the" Beatles or "The" Beatles?

The lowercase faction says the Wikipedia manual of style and external style guides are on its side.

The uppercase faction says that trademarks should be capitalized and that the official Beatles website uses an uppercase definite article.

The dispute has become so contentious that some Wikipedia editors have been banned from participating. "Discussions on this page may escalate into heated debate," warns the internal "Talk" page where editors discuss changes to the Beatles entry.

"Please try to keep a cool head when commenting here."

Now, Wikipedia is trying to settle the question with a community poll, where readers will get to decide which case will prevail. The poll is expected to close Monday. Currently, the Beatles entry mainly sidesteps the issue by avoiding the name of the group in mid-sentence. Still, there are a couple of instances where "the" is lowercased.

Saabira Chaudhuri of The Wall Street Journal has point on this vexing question: Link

What Do You Think, Neatoramanauts? Should it be "The" or "the"?


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I have pens in my shop that are official Beatles releases, authorized by the living members & the estates of the deceased members. All the text provided by the designers uses either "The Beatles" with "the" capitalized or refers to the band without their definite article.

So "The Beatles were an iconic band" and "The pens are authorized, limited edition Beatles memorabilia."

Basically, it skirts the issue entirely, but leans toward capitalizing "The" when used.
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