There are two ways to say the word "the". You can say "thUH" (short E: phonetically spelled thĕ [the underlining of th indicates it's the "voiced" th, as in "they" - as opposed to the "voiceless" th, as in "throw"]), or you can say "th-EE" (long E: phonetically spelled thē).
Generally speaking, when "the" precedes a word beginning with a consonant (or hard) sound, you would use the short "the", as in this phrase:
The dog ran past the car.
"Thĕ dog ran past thĕ car".
But if "the" precedes a word beginning with a vowel (or soft) sound, you would use the long "the", as in this phrase:
The owl hunted the otter.
"Thē owl hunted thē otter."
What you'll find, in these troublous times, is that people use only one version of "the" - the one with the short vowel sound "thUH". But if you use a short "the" right before a word that begins with a vowel (osprey, end, abstract), the sounds run together and you end up with a phrase like "the udder" sounding more like "thuhuhdder". Well, obviously that doesn't work: there has to be some kind of delineation between the two vowel sounds.
Enter the glottal stop: Ɂ .
Do you know what a glottal stop is? It's a tiny halt you make in your throat, during speaking, to cut off the flow of air for a split second. It sounds weird, but try saying "thEE udder", and then try saying "thUH udder" and you'll see what I mean...you have to do a glottal stop whether you've heard of it or not. You'd write it "thĕ Ɂ ŭdder".
Well, glottal stops are all very well - nice and technical, and all, but why use them if you don't have to? Why not just use the correct pronunciation of "the"?