Articles with Initialisms

Subject: Articles with Initialisms
From: "Daniel E. Wise" <dewise -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 22:24:49 -0800

Folks, the article before an initialism such as SME should match the
"sound" of the first pronounced letter. As I am sure all of us know, a
vowel sound calls for the article "an." Thus we should write AN SME
(ess begins with a vowel sound) and AN ESLer (ee begins with a vowel

In their style manual, Southern Company Services prescribes this usage
based on the Technical Publications Group's study of commonly used
style and usage guides--such as Roy Copperud's book on usage, Chicago
Manual, GPO Manual, etc.

Dan Wise
38 years a TC and still learning

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