Re: Use of A and An

Subject: Re: Use of A and An
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 10:54:24 -0800

technicoid wrote:

Perhaps a simpler way to remember is this: if it begins with a consonant
_sound_, use a. If it begins with a vowel sound, use an. The point is
wither the phoneme that follows the article has a stop, fricative,
glide, or what not.

This question strikes me as a good example of the limits of prescriptive grammar. Asked to remember that "an" is used before a vowel sound, many people have trouble remembering. However, if you go on to note that the difference exists because, in this situation, "an" is easier to say than "a," then they just might remember. By adding this explanation, you transform the case from an arbitrary rule to a practice that has a reason for it.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"Bright morning star a-rising,
New day's a-breaking in my soul."
- American Traditional



RoboHelp for FrameMaker is a NEW online publishing tool for FrameMaker that
lets you easily single-source content to online Help, intranet, and Web. The interface is designed for FrameMaker users, so there is little or no
learning curve and no macro language required! Call 800-718-4407 for competitive pricing or download a trial at:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Use of A and An: From: technicoid

Previous by Author: Wanted: an OS X user?
Next by Author: Re: Computer repair/upgrade (was RE: A data point on offshoring
Previous by Thread: RE: Use of A and An
Next by Thread: Re: Use of A and An

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

Sponsored Ads