This is a Journal entry by Nosebagbadger {Ace}

A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 1

Nosebagbadger {Ace}

A question of utmost important, which has originated (at least for me) off the clearly work-focused volunteer skype thread (I'm going to take a wild plunge and assume I won't be punished for bring this across smiley - winkeye )

Is it "an" h2g2 smiley
or
"a" h2g2 smiley


I personally deliberately went for "a" h2g2 smiley, because there isn't a vowel following the "h", was this is reasonable decision?


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 2

Florida Sailor All is well with the world

A good question NBB, I think the answer is in the pronunciation of the letter 'H', may I refer you to a famous memoir by Sam Watkins. a Confederate soldier in the American Civil War - http://books.google.com/books/about/Co_Aytch.html?id=aQ5HAMrOWTUC

Even though the letter is not a vowel, its pronunciation is - In a phrase where the letter is named, rather than just starting a word, 'an' should always be used (imho), Because many British accents drop the 'H' it is common for 'an' to be used, in the US this is not commonly done - ' I did it in a hurry' or I done it in an 'urry' (the latter might just be Southern US usagesmiley - shrug)

Just my smiley - 2cents

F smiley - dolphin S


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 3

psychocandy - Moderation Team Leader

I'm from the US - Chicago - and I would pronounce it "an" h2g2 smiley. Just stating my location in case regional differences come into play. smiley - winkeye


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 4

8584330

h2g2's pronounced "aitch-two-gee-two" here in the Pacific Northwest, so yeah, definitely an h2g2 smiley.


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 5

You can call me TC

Putting aside the "h" question ("aitch" or "haitch"), I had to explain to a colleague recently why we say "an MBE" (I've forgotten what the abbreviation was now, but it started with an M.)

In fact many consonants, when you say them, start with a vowel sound (N, F, L, M, N, R, S, X). I've no idea which is correct, but I'm sure it's all right to use "an" before these letters. It looks odd, but you can't say "a MBE", "a NGO" or "a MP", so smiley - shrug


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 6

Vip

Yup, I start 'h' with an 'a' so for me it would be an.

smiley - fairy


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 7

Gnomon - time to move on

The name of the letter H is 'aitch', from the French 'ache', so it is definitely 'an h2g2 smiley'.


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 8

Nosebagbadger {Ace}

Surely you don't run off the "spelling" of the letter? Otherwise you could have to consider/pronounce a word by the individual "spelling" of each of its letters?


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 9

Gnomon - time to move on

English is a spoken language. You can't say "h2g2" as a word so you have to spell it out as "aitch-too-jee-too". Because this starts with a vowel sound, you put "an" before it rather than "a".


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 10

Nosebagbadger {Ace}

So that's how you're supposed to pronounce it smiley - winkeye


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 11

8584330

Yes, if that is how the word or acronym's pronounced.

NATO is pronounced NAY-TOE
ASCII, AS-SKI.
NBC is pronounced EN-BEE-SEA

So it would be correct to say
an NBC sitcom

Think of this, nnb. Say whatever it is out loud, and wherever you hear a word or acronym or abbreviation starting with a vowel sound, then write "an". If the word or acronym or abbreviation starts with a consonant sound, use "a".

Writing should follow how language is spoken.


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 12

Nosebagbadger {Ace}

Well, non artificial languages, at least...though english is not always one for following that rule


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 13

Peanut

For me it is 'a' because it is 'h'

is in haitch two gee two,

a little h at that, even if it comes at the beginning of a sentence smiley - whistle




A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 14

Gnomon - time to move on

I thought it was only us Irish that said "haitch" for the letter H.smiley - smiley

More examples of how you use the sound rather than what's written are:

a used car
an unused car

Used is pronounced "yoozd" so it starts with a consonant sound (y) and you use "a" with it.

Unused is pronounced "un-yoozd" so it starts with a vowel sound (u) and you used "an" with it.



unuused


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 15

Peanut

I would say 'a new car' smiley - winkeye


A"n" h2g2 Smiley

Post 16

Peanut


I think where the haitch comes in Gnomon is because we were always told to pick our 'hs' and 'ts' and stop putting 'rs' into places it doesn't belong smiley - biggrin

'You must say your haitches' Peanut and it turns out haitch doesn't have a 'h' in at all...








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