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'[OT]: "a/an" in English'
2001\01\10@131916 by Dave Bell

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Matt Bennett <spam_OUTmjbTakeThisOuTspamHAZMAT.COM> wrote:

>"Alexandre Domingos F. Souza" wrote:

>> in a 8052 (another good question: In english, when you use the "a"
>>before a number as it were consonant, or "an" as if it were a vowel?)

>Oh, and about the a/an thing- it all depends on what the initial *sound*
>is- if it is a vowel sound like 8502- 'an' is more proper, but a
>consonant *sound* like 7400 would take an 'a'.

Yes, the fact that the word following the article is a number has no
bearing. As in Matt's example, 8/eight takes 'an', and 7/seven takes 'a'.
Where it gets less clear is in American vs. British English, and leading
'H' may get dropped. In American, we would usually say "a hat", rather
than "an 'at"!

Dave Bell

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2001\01\10@133124 by John Pfaff

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And it is also correct to refer to an historical event.

----- Original Message -----
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To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: "a/an" in English


{Quote hidden}

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2001\01\10@161345 by Brandon Fosdick

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Dave Bell wrote:
>
> Matt Bennett <KILLspammjbKILLspamspamHAZMAT.COM> wrote:
>
> >"Alexandre Domingos F. Souza" wrote:
>
> >> in a 8052 (another good question: In english, when you use the "a"
> >>before a number as it were consonant, or "an" as if it were a vowel?)
>
> >Oh, and about the a/an thing- it all depends on what the initial *sound*
> >is- if it is a vowel sound like 8502- 'an' is more proper, but a
> >consonant *sound* like 7400 would take an 'a'.
>
> Yes, the fact that the word following the article is a number has no
> bearing. As in Matt's example, 8/eight takes 'an', and 7/seven takes 'a'.
> Where it gets less clear is in American vs. British English, and leading
> 'H' may get dropped. In American, we would usually say "a hat", rather
> than "an 'at"!
>

For acronyms you're "supposed" to always use 'an', but nobody actually does
since it sounds bad for some acronyms.

"A NASA report" vs. "An NASA report"
"An NFL playoff game"
"An NBA star"
"A JPL sponsored project"
"An IRS audit"
"A UNAV3200 autopilot" (which, BTW, uses a PIC for servo control)
"A PWM generator"
"An A/D Converter"
"A PIC microprocessor"

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2001\01\10@162821 by jamesnewton

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Actually its not that is sounds bad, it's that it is harder to say....
...or maybe it does sound bad * because * it is harder to say.

If you feel the position of your mouth during the transition between the A
or AN and the following acronym (try A then AN with each acronym) , you will
know what I mean.

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{Original Message removed}

2001\01\10@165545 by M. Adam Davis

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> For acronyms you're "supposed" to always use 'an', but nobody actually does
> since it sounds bad for some acronyms.

I'd never heard that - I figured it was always whether the first
pronounced sound was a vowel or consonant, for instance:

> "A NASA report" vs. "An NASA report"

This is pronounced as one word, which starts with a consonant sound.  You
could say, "An N A S A report" (sounding out each letter), but the acronym
is now used as one word.  The N, if sounded as seperate letters, is
pronounced "EN", since the N itself is really nothing without sounds
before or after it.

> "An NFL playoff game"

This is pronounced letter by letter.  The letter N is pronounced "EN",
therefore one uses an.

> "An NBA star"

Again the N is pronounced "EN"

> "A JPL sponsored project"

The J is pronounced "JAE", starting with a consonant means you need to use
the A.

> "An IRS audit"

We all sound each letter out, the I makes a vowel sound, but even if we
pronounced it as one word (Which UK would get a kick out of, "Where'd the
american's get their tax code?" "They pulled it out of their irs!") irs
would still start with a vowel.

> "A UNAV3200 autopilot" (which, BTW, uses a PIC for servo control)

Whether you sound out the letters or pronounce it 'unav 32000', it always
starts with a vowel.

> "A PWM generator"

The letters are pronounced seperately, P is pronounced "PEE"

> "An A/D Converter"

"AE to DEE" starts with A

> "A PIC microprocessor"

PIC is pronounced as one word ('cause we're all lazy), but even if each
letter were sounded it would stil started with a consonant.

-Adam

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2001\01\10@173248 by M. Adam Davis

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I wonder about this one.  We would say, "I just finished a history lesson,
it was an historic occasion.  It was about a historic meeting between two
people."

I wonder if there are other H words which do weird things.  It may be that
historic lets the word after it choose the a/an...  It could have
something to do with being the subject/adjective, but neither of those fit
up there.  The last phrase could probably do as well with an an or an a.

Several online english resources, but I haven't seen a mention of a/an
anywhere...

-Adam

John Pfaff wrote:
>
> And it is also correct to refer to an historical event.
>
> {Original Message removed}

2001\01\10@173947 by t F. Touchton

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part 1 3670 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-asciiExactly... a lesson, an occasion, a meeting.  "history" is simply modifying the
following word, and normal grammar being applied to a/an and vowel/consonant....
now if you could find me some MAX537's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 |       Subject:     Re: [OT]: "a/an" in English                             |
 >----------------------------------------------------------------------------|





I wonder about this one.  We would say, "I just finished a history lesson,
it was an historic occasion.  It was about a historic meeting between two
people."

I wonder if there are other H words which do weird things.  It may be that
historic lets the word after it choose the a/an...  It could have
something to do with being the subject/adjective, but neither of those fit
up there.  The last phrase could probably do as well with an an or an a.

Several online english resources, but I haven't seen a mention of a/an
anywhere...

-Adam

John Pfaff wrote:
>
> And it is also correct to refer to an historical event.
>
> {Original Message removed}
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2001\01\10@184448 by Tim Hamel

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In a message dated 1/10/01 2:42:37 PM Pacific Standard Time,
EraseMEScott.TouchtonspamUS.JDSUNIPHASE.COM writes:


> now if you could find me some MAX537's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>

Sheesh! These things aren't cheap! Checking my sources (teehee),  they run
about $20-50...dependant on package-style I guess. Avnet Marshall doesn't
have any in stock. Nu Horizons want you to call. Can't you just use a
substitute?

Regards,

Tim Hamel

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2001\01\10@185730 by Nick Taylor

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Dave Bell wrote:
>
> Matt Bennett <RemoveMEmjbspam_OUTspamKILLspamHAZMAT.COM> wrote:
>
> >"Alexandre Domingos F. Souza" wrote:
>
> >> in a 8052 (another good question: In english, when you use the "a"
> >>before a number as it were consonant, or "an" as if it were a vowel?)
>
> >Oh, and about the a/an thing- it all depends on what the initial *sound*
> >is- if it is a vowel sound like 8502- 'an' is more proper, but a
> >consonant *sound* like 7400 would take an 'a'.

It gets even more complicated:
  A history book
  AN historical novel

Three years ago my (then) 4th grade son got into trouble with his
teacher over this.  He disputed her when she said that the use of
'a' or 'an' was based on spelling rather than pronunciation.  She
embarrassed him in front of the class ... so he made a list of
words that start with a consonant, but are preceded with an 'a',
and read them to the class.  BTW, she also pronounces jaguar as
"jag wire".

Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?

 -Nick

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2001\01\10@194148 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 10 Jan 2001, Brandon Fosdick wrote:

> For acronyms you're "supposed" to always use 'an', but nobody actually does
> since it sounds bad for some acronyms.
>
> "A NASA report" vs. "An NASA report"

If you pronounce the acronym as a word like "NASA", it's "A NASA report".
If you spell out the acronym, it would be "An N-A-S-A report".  So it
still works; words that start with a vowel sound are preceded by "an",
words that begin with a consonant sound are preceded by "a".

I've never heard the rule of always using "an" for acronyms, but who knows
what English departments are teaching now??  My last English course was
just after rock formed and before the dinosaurs (1978).

Dale
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The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2001\01\10@203803 by Brandon Fosdick

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Nick Taylor wrote:
> Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
> is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?

opossum

I've never understood why its spelled like that, but my dogs love to eat them
anyway.

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2001\01\11@004317 by Bala Chandar

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> Nick Taylor wrote:
> Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
> is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?

Adam Davis has given a clear explanation of the logic behind using 'a' or
'an' before words. It is the pronunciation that matters, not necessarily the
first letter.

Given below are some examples:

"A university"
The first letter is a vowel. But when you pronounce "university", the word
begins with the sound of the letter 'y'. Hence the use of 'a' instead of
'an'.

"An honorary surgeon"
Here, the first letter in the word 'honorary' is silent and the beginning
sound is that of the letter 'o'. So 'an' is used.

"A one-word answer"
This is like the first example. The first letter in "one" is a vowel, but
the beginning sound is that of the letter 'w'.

I have been a Piclister for the past 4 months and I think this is the first
time, a lot of discussion under [OT] is focussed on English grammar!

Bala

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2001\01\11@005058 by Jinx

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> Nick Taylor wrote:
> > Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel,
> > but is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?
>
> opossum

And some words such as "newt" and "orange" were originally
spelled as "ewt" and "narange", so "an ewt", or "a narange".

("nar..." was changed to "or..." as an association with the
golden colour)

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2001\01\11@010942 by Jinx

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> Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
> is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?
>
>   -Nick

"once"  - a once-in-a-lifetime.......

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2001\01\11@044453 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Sounds like you are thinking of a stereotyped cockney accent !! We don't all
speak like that you know...jolly bad show old man. :o)

Mike

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2001\01\11@045854 by D Lloyd

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See below:




(Embedded     Michael Rigby-Jones <TakeThisOuTmrjones.....spamTakeThisOuTNORTELNETWORKS.COM>.....spamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>> image moved   11/01/2001 08:23
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Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list
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2001\01\11@055831 by Russell McMahon

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>I wonder about this one.  We would say, "I just finished a history lesson,
>it was an historic occasion.  It was about a historic meeting between two
>people."
>
>I wonder if there are other H words which do weird things.  It may be that
>historic lets the word after it choose the a/an...  It could have
>something to do with being the subject/adjective, but neither of those fit
>up there.  The last phrase could probably do as well with an an or an a.
>
>Several online english resources, but I haven't seen a mention of a/an
>anywhere...



Haven't been following this thread - what fun you guys are having.

Historic is an exception because it is said differently on purpose! - why is
less obvious.
The clearly proper (someone will disagree :-) ) construct is "a historic
occason" and this almost actually sounds OK and some people WOULD say it
that way. It's said "an historic... " because it has become practice to say
it that way.

Another such example is "hotel".
Properly this should be a hotel but in actual \use once says "an hotel".

   "We all went to an hotel for a gin and tonic".

This screams of wrongness but is technically how it should be said.

Possibly because the h is somewhat silent - not quite 'otel but not a full h
always either.






     Russell McMahon
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2001\01\11@061715 by Kevin Blain

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Accordin to my Oxford english dictionary (i.e. english tself!)

an : used before a vowel sound, e.g. "an egg", "an hour". Also used before a
consonant in an unstressed syllable, e.g. "an historic novel", "an
hypothesis"

That seems to make sense to me, and would explain why "a history lesson" is
preceeded with "a" because "history" is the important bit if you like, not
"lesson"

regards, Kevin

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2001\01\11@085544 by t F. Touchton

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part 1 2035 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-asciiTim,

    I'd love to use a substitute (is there something out there pin for pin
compatible???), but the copper has already been rolled and the CM house is
looking for parts.... kind of one of those things I adopted.  Thanks for the
response and if you or any of the other PICLIST'ers can find some somewhere in
some little corner of a lab in some little bin in some little box please let me
know.

Thanks,

Scott


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In a message dated 1/10/01 2:42:37 PM Pacific Standard Time,
@spam@Scott.TouchtonRemoveMEspamEraseMEUS.JDSUNIPHASE.COM writes:


> now if you could find me some MAX537's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>

Sheesh! These things aren't cheap! Checking my sources (teehee),  they run
about $20-50...dependant on package-style I guess. Avnet Marshall doesn't
have any in stock. Nu Horizons want you to call. Can't you just use a
substitute?

Regards,

Tim Hamel

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2001\01\11@094027 by Roger Kadau

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> Accordin to my Oxford english dictionary (i.e. english tself!)
>
> an : used before a vowel sound, e.g. "an egg", "an hour". Also used before
a
> consonant in an unstressed syllable, e.g. "an historic novel", "an
> hypothesis"
>
> That seems to make sense to me, and would explain why "a history lesson"
is
> preceeded with "a" because "history" is the important bit if you like, not
> "lesson"
>
> regards, Kevin
>
> --
That's syllable, not word.
HIStory
hisTORic

Roger Kadau

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2001\01\11@114337 by Tom Messenger

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Russell wrote:
>Another such example is "hotel".
>Properly this should be a hotel but in actual \use once says "an hotel".
>
>    "We all went to an hotel for a gin and tonic".
>
>This screams of wrongness...

Quite correct. It should be

   "We all went to an hotel for several gin and tonics".

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2001\01\11@121809 by David VanHorn

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>
>     "We all went to an 'otel for several gin and tonics".

Here, I would go to A hotel, for the essentials of life. A clean bed, a
shower, and cable!
:)

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2001\01\11@124526 by John Pfaff

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... or
"We all went to several hotels for several gins and tonic"

----- Original Message -----
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To: <.....PICLISTRemoveMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2001 11:42 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: "a/an" in English


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2001\01\11@141911 by rich+piclist

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> Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
> is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?
opossum

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2001\01\11@145618 by jamesnewton

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As a grateful recovered alcoholic, I must point out that the correct version
is

       "We all went to a hotel with our dates for a frolic between the sheets"

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2001\01\11@195153 by David VanHorn

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At 11:18 AM 1/11/01 -0800, rich+piclistspam_OUTspam@spam@LCLOGIC.COM wrote:
> > Does anybody know of an English word that starts with a vowel, but
> > is pronounced as though it starts with a consonant?
>opossum

Goes both ways around here. 'Possum  and O-Possum.

Isn't english grand?

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