Re: Pronouncing initialisms/acronyms (was: e-mail)

Subject: Re: Pronouncing initialisms/acronyms (was: e-mail)
From: soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 11:56:29 -0600

In <01BAE347 -dot- 21471640 -at- port25 -dot- gateway1 -dot- ic -dot- net>, on 01/15/96 at 11:39 AM,
Stuart Reynolds <reynolds -at- ic -dot- net> said:

>>yet? Is it "a you-are-ell" or "an earl"? And why (or why not)?

>Not that simple though, is it. As with most things, there are exceptions
>to the *rule*. Not all words beginning with a vowel get "an". Some get
>"a" because of the vowel. Uniform.. is not An Uniform.. it is A Uniform.
>"Universal Joint" gets "A Universal Joint", whereas "Opening" gets "An
>Opening".

And of course, some words beginning with consonants get an "an"... such an
"An historic whatever..."

>With regards to U-R-L and "earl", going back to a point
>earlier in you message, the "majority" use U-R-L.

Personally, I've kind of adopted a hybrid of the two.

I find that pronouncing it "You're'll" rolls off the tongue a lot easier
than "You-Are-Ell", but allows for less confusion than "Earl" (which, BTW,
is the name of a restaurant chain here in BC).

>Especially those
>involved in development and the infrastructure. And, You-Are-Ell, is
>using the initial letters of the words.. earl is not. So, that creates a
>difference also.

I'd like to point out the irony that the name of this list falls in the
same category - it's pronounce (unofficially :) "Techwhirl", even though
it's spelled "TECH-Double-You-Are-dash-Ell"

Of course, then, there are those of us that spell out "Eye-Are-See", and
those who merely call it "Irk"...

And so on. Unfortuantely, the Internet and its propensity for leaping
borders of all kinds (linguistic as well as social and geographic) makes
defining exact pronunciations for most of these terms and acronyms an
exercise in futility most times...


Your friend and mine,
Matt
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