City hall used to be capitalized, which would seem to indicate its original "proper name" nature. In some style guides today, the rule is to capitalize only when referring to a specific city hall, eg, Boston City Hall, Massachusetts city halls.
Originally posted by househusband at 2007-8-9 05:41 PM
To further the talk, we may compare it to "White House". Isn't it interesting?
I was trying to think of an equivalent and I couldn't. (Usually, we'd say "the White House.") I think it's a little like "Parliament" or "Congress" which sometimes uses "the" but often doesn't.
I think city hall just an unusual phrase—there really isn't an equivalent.
And, hh is quite right, rainbow, you get a "feel" (intuitive sense) for using "the" (or not) through extensive reading. (Mr husband is a perfect example in this regard, as his use of "the" is flawless.)