A trademark combining two words may evoke its own unique commercial impression—separate from the meanings of its component words--and be inherently registrable as a unitary term. But if each component word is merely descriptive or laudatory, the combination mark may retain the same meaning as its component words and may not be registrable on the Principal Register (which is for marks that are inherently distinctive) unless the mark has acquired a source identification distinctiveness (called “secondary meaning”).
A trademark is supposed to identify the source of the goods for which it is used and to distinguish them from the goods of others. Do you think the word “THE,” standing alone, has those qualities when it appears on clothing?
The Ohio State University (Ohio State) and Marc Jacobs Trademarks, L.L.C. (Marc Jacobs) both believe that THE identifies and distinguishes their respective identical clothing items.