Re: Articles with Acronyms

Subject: Re: Articles with Acronyms
From: Bill Burns <WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 16:45:53 MDT

In response to Corinne's question about historical use of "an" before
H words, I'd say that it makes sense to stick with the convention of the
time rather than conventions that worked in the past. Since article usage is
determined primarily by spoken language conventions, we should stick with
whichever article works when the words are spoken together. Since "an
hairdresser" would feel akward to me (as would "a hour"), I wouldn't use
it, even if historically it were correct.

We tend to hold on to a lot of grammatical conventions that don't have any
substantial linguistic basis. Adherence to a convention that has lost its
purpose just makes effective communication that much more difficult.

Bill Burns
Assm. Technical Writer/Editor
Micron Technology, Inc.
Boise, ID

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