Is “In following, …” acceptable in place of “In the following, …”?

In editing a recent question, I wrote:

In following, realtype stands for …

Later, it got edited (two words were added) to read:

In the following example, realtype stands for …

The latter edit is incorrect because realtype stands for the same thing in the whole question, not just in the example; but for the purpose of this question, that’s minor and doesn’t matter. The real question is whether in following is acceptable; is there any semantic or grammatical error with using in following instead of in the following?

I realize that in following is used only infrequently when in the following might be used in its place. In instances I looked at after a Google Books search, it was used mostly by Indian or German speakers of English; for example:

… the most relevant constraints … are summarized in following. – Valuation of Network Effects in Software Markets, Andreas Kemper, 2009

Note, this question is not about how frequently one phrase or another is used; it’s not about personal preferences or other ways to say the same thing; instead, it asks if use of in following violates any important English-language tenets.

Answer

As you found in your research, this may be dialectal. In British English, the is required to turn following into an adjective, rather than having it parsed as a verb.

In following [something] → the something is being followed
In the following [something] → the something follows

  • In following their officers’ orders, the Light Brigade charged into history.
  • In following examples, we learn from others [Verb: “By following examples”]
  • In the following examples, we learn from others [Adjective: “In the examples which follow this sentence”]

Context may allow the [something] to be omitted.

  • The officers gave orders to the men. In following [those orders], they rode to oblivion.
  • In the following [example], realtype stands for…

That is, in British English at least, a present participle is prioritised as a verb when used with in like this, and it needs the if it is to be parsed as an adjective.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : James Waldby – jwpat7 , Answer Author : Andrew Leach

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