RE: a vs. an

Subject: RE: a vs. an
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'Kelly Parr'" <KParr -at- c-bridge -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 11:01:08 -0500

Hallo:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kelly Parr [SMTP:KParr -at- c-bridge -dot- com]
>
>
> "an historical moment." I hear this a lot on public radio, etc., and I'm
> pretty sure it's wrong, but
> I'm having a debate with a colleague.
>
Depends. The British are more likely to pronounce the "h" and use "a". A
herb, would be a better example. I think the US convention of using "an" and
dropping the "h" is more Continental.

> The typical rule is to use "a" before words beginning with a consonant or
> consonant sound (including "y" and "w" words) and "an" before words
> beginning with a vowel or vowel sound.
>
Right, so if the "h" is silent . . ..

> So why "an historical moment"? I'm
> assuming it's pronounced "an 'istorical..." Is this a British convention
> that we've taken into American usage?
>
Thus, American public radio, "an (h)istorical" seems correct.

> TIA
> Kelly
>
Best regards.

Sean
sean -at- quodata -dot- com




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