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Subject:Re: a vs. an From:"Brian Harris" <blh -at- cyberscience -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 8 Mar 2000 16:12:38 -0000
It dates back to when the "h" wasn't pronounced. Hotel is another example -
I think the roots of these words are French, e.g. "histoire" which is why
the "h" was dropped. Currently, both "a historical" - where the "h" is
pronounced AND "an historical.." where the "h" is not pronounced are used,
and neither is 'wrong'. Language evolves, and this is one of those cases
where two different conventions co-exist. So you can use either.
----- Original Message -----
From: Kelly Parr <KParr -at- c-bridge -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 3:00 PM
Subject: a vs. an
> Can anyone tell me the grammatical rule for using:
> "an historical moment."
> I hear this a lot on public radio, etc., and I'm pretty sure it's wrong,
> I'm having a debate with a colleague.
> 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. 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?
> Kelly Parr
> Technical Writer
> kparr -at- c-bridge -dot- com
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