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Subject:Re: Articles with Acronyms From:"Sandy, Corinne" <CHS8 -at- CPSOD1 -dot- EM -dot- CDC -dot- GOV> Date:Thu, 12 Jan 1995 09:12:00 EST
Something caught my eye during this discussion. I read in some style guide
a long time ago that "an" before a word beginning with "h" is not
incorrect. An "a" should be used. The rationale is because,
historically, h's were not pronounced . Instead of pronouncing "history"
it used to be pronounced 'istory. And because of this, "an" was used.
Now-a-days in English, it is pronounced history, so an is supposedly
obsolete. Consequently, I write and say "a" before "h." The funny thing
is, though, that I was tempted to write "an" when writing this e-mail
anytime I was going to write "h." So, now I'm not sure. What do you
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Articles with Acronyms
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 1995 11:33AM
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From: Dan Glovier <Mercury!tsh!dan -at- MCS -dot- NET>
Subject: Re: Articles with Acronyms
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The Gods overheard Kelly Burhenne state:
> Question: When using an acronym (as you all know, very prevalent in our
> profession) preceded by an article, should you use the article that
> agrees with the first word the acronym represents, or use the article
> that agrees with the pronunciation of the acronym.
> e.g.: an FTP
> a FTP
> a SS2000 (SiteScan 2000)
> or an SS2000
> Kelly Burhenne
> burhennk -at- smtpgw -dot- liebert -dot- com
Use the article that agrees with the pronunciation of
acronym (i.e. an FTP).
Quoting from my Little, Brown Handbook (pg. 546):
When you use an abbreviation or acronym in writing, the article that
precedes it depends on how the abbreviation is to be read:
She was once an HEW undersecretary. (HEW is to be read as three letters,
not as a word or as Health, Education, and Welfare.) Many Americans
opposed a SALT treaty. (SALT is to be read as one word, salt, not as
four separate leatters.)
dan -at- tsh -dot- com
"A million years of evolution, we get Danny Quayle."
- "Insanity" Boingo