ARCHER: What about the Enterprise sensor logs? ("Shockwave")
That one doesn't count, since the article goes with "sensor logs."
The change in the later series to dropping the article, as I understand it, was done to reflect preferred modern US Naval parlance. Apparently you're only supposed to use "the" if you include "USS," because you're treating the abbreviation as equivalent to the full phrase -- so you'd refer to "the USS Shipname
," because you're effectively saying "the United States Ship Shipname
." But otherwise, you treat the name the same way you'd treat a personal name, i.e. with no article before it.
Note, also, that several Trek novelists were referring to Kirk's ship as "Enterprise
" rather than "the Enterprise
" way back in the 1980s, before even TNG existed. Which I figure was because they understood Naval conventions better than the producers of the shows and movies did.
So they didn't change the usage just to be different from TOS, they changed it because they improved their research.