No, Blogger isn't on the blink, that's the intended title of the article.
The error in question is the continued use of classical terminology for grammatical articles: specifically the terms definite article and indefinite article. For over a decade, I tried to reconcile the grammatical feature with the common sense of the words "definite" and "indefinite" -- i.e. certain and uncertain -- but it made no sense at all.
It wasn't until I started discussing grammar in foreign languages that I clicked what I'd been missing all along -- the terms we use are basically a mistranslation of classical terminology.
The English word definite has diverged drastically from its etymological roots, but this is not true in the Romance languages on mainland Europe. When the French say défini or the Spanish say definido, what they are actually saying is defined.
That's right, the definite article is really the defined article, which means the indefinite article must be the undefined article. From that perspective, everything seems to make much more sense.
Plenty of languages survive quite well without any articles -- they are essentially redundant as even in English, in a lot of circumstances you can drop them without losing any information in the sentence.
What I'd never got my head round was that the articles don't add any information to the sentence -- they simply act as a sort of "signpost" to information that already exists elsewhere. But most importantly, it refers to the listener's frame of reference and not the speakers.
What the definite article flags up is essentially "you know which one I mean", and the indefinite article says "you don't know which one I mean". If I say "You should go home -- the wife'll be waiting," context says I'm talking about your wife, but if I say "I should go home -- the wife'll be waiting," then you know that I'm talking about my wife. And if I say "a friend of mine is coming to visit," I'm telling you that I don't expect you to know which one I'm talking about. But in both cases, if you delete the articles, I would still make the assumption of yours/mine or that I'm not sure in the second.
Now I know that isn't very clear, but to be honest, I still haven't got this that clear in my own head.
This "signposting" idea is pretty abstract, so describing it is pretty difficult. But to be fair, it's no more abstract than the phenomenon it's describing, and the more I think about articles, the more weird and abstract they look to me. For something at first class so basic, they are incredibly complex.
I suppose I'll be working for years trying to work out the best way to teach, discuss and describe them, but for now I'll satisfy myself with using the terms defined and undefined in place of definite and indefinite, because at the very least we'll be one step closer to a meaningful definition.