Re: a vs an - RANT

Subject: Re: a vs an - RANT
From: "DANIEL D HALL" <misterhall -at- prodigy -dot- net>
To: "List Techwhr" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 16:21:55 -0800

There is no easier way to wind up looking foolish than to unthinkingly do
something because it is "how I was taught."

Story: A husband sees his wife preparing Easter dinner. She carefully cuts
the ends off the ham, then places it in the pot. The husband asks his wife,
"Why do you always cut off the ends of the ham?"
She replies, "Because my mom always did it that way."
The husband becomes curious, walks into the next room and asks his
mother-in-law, "Mom, why do you cut off the ends of the ham?"
The mother-in-law replies "Because my mom always did it that way."
The husband is now really curious, and calls his wife's grandmother. "Gram,"
he asks, "Why do you cut off the ends of the ham?"
The grandmother starts laughing, and can't stop for a couple of minutes.
She finally composes herself and says to the husband, "When your
mother-in-law was young, we were poor. The only pot we had was too small to
fit a whole ham, not I had to cut the ends off the ham to make it fit in our

That said, in my particular cultural arena (academia in Southern
California), I would go with "an historical," because it is the accepted
form, and the reader won't be distracted by a perceived mistake.

My opinion only,

Dan Hall
danhall -at- consultant -dot- com

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