A vs AN Summary
Some rules regarding the use of A vs. AN:
- 1. Use an AN before a vowel or vowel sound and use A before a consonant or consonant sound.
- 2. Treat acronyms as if it was the whole word / phrase / description.
- Example: a National Broadcast Company employee = a NBC employee
The Chicago Manual of Style (sec. 14.15, p. 464) says:
Uncertainty often arises concerning the proper choice of the indefinite article before an acronym. A workable solution may be based on the way such an abbreviation is read. The assumption is that an acronym is read either as a series of letters or as a neologism, or coined word. Rarely is the acronym read as though all of the words were spelled out. If, as is usually the case, the acronym is treated as a series of letters, the choice of the article depends on the pronunciation of the first letter. (_an_ NAACP position vs. _a_ TVA power station)
If the acronym is widely pronounced as though it were a word, the article is determined by the pronunciation of the word. (_a_ LOOM meeting vs. _an_ LCD panel)
begin: vcard fn: Lynda Kennedy n: Kennedy;Lynda org: Newbridge Networks Corporation email;internet: lyndak -at- newbridge -dot- com title: Technical Writer tel;work: (613) 599-3600 ext 5004 x-mozilla-cpt: ;0 x-mozilla-html: FALSE version: 2.1 end: vcard
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