Re: a vs. an

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
> =======================================
> Kelly Parr
> Technical Writer
> 617-528-1744
> kparr -at- c-bridge -dot- com
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
> Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based
> More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-
> Your web site in 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than you think.
> Contact ForeignExchange for the FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
> translation management" (
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: blh -at- cyberscience -dot- com
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
leave-techwr-l-30144M -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
> for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Need another word for "enterable"
Next by Author: Re: a vs. an - RANT
Previous by Thread: RE: a vs. an
Next by Thread: Re: a vs. an

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads