[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Another load of typos

On Thu, Mar 17, 2005 at 11:20:12PM +1100, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 17, 2005 at 10:59:34AM +0000, Will Newton wrote:
> > On Thursday 17 March 2005 03:16, Florian Zumbiehl wrote:

> > > ... and probably not for (that is, not unless you tell me otherwise):
> > > > HPGL
> > > > HTML
> > > > HTTPS

> > Traditionally I think these would use "an". Even if you pronounce "h" as 
> > "haich" rather than "aich" as another poster pointed out, many words 
> > beginning with "h" such as "historic" or "horrendous" require "an" in formal 
> > writing e.g. "an historic achievement".

> (This might be a topic without a possible conclusion!) 
> Funny, but although I'd say "an HTML file" or "an HTTPS url" or 
> similar, I'd say "a history achievement". 

That's right. Usually when you pronounce the letter 'haich', it's silent
word-initially. When you pronounce it 'aich', it is audible at the start
of the word. Or I _think_ that's the case.

And at least for these words, they are all abbreviations, as none of
them are pronouncable as acronyms. So they are all governed by the local
pronounciation of 'H', not the local pronounciation of 'hotel'.

> But then we say aich not haich here.

I'd say "an HP printer" or "a historic occasion", but if I saw it
written "a HP printer" I'd read it "a haich-pee printer" without qualm.
And for some reason, everytime I try, I get "a HTML document". So I'm
not even consistent in my own usage.  Probably because Australian
English seems to be influenced by both British and American
pronounciation, in the same way that route is understandable in either
pronounciation, although then I know the linguistic background of the
speaker's English. ^_^

However, this is a pronounciation rule, not a spelling rule, so it's up
to the author to write it by speaking it out loud. So I consider these
to the uncorrectable automatically, even from the standpoint of
paragraph-internal consistency. ^_^

Paul "TBBle" Hampson, MCSE
8th year CompSci/Asian Studies student, ANU
The Boss, Bubblesworth Pty Ltd (ABN: 51 095 284 361)

"No survivors? Then where do the stories come from I wonder?"
-- Capt. Jack Sparrow, "Pirates of the Caribbean"

This email is licensed to the recipient for non-commercial
use, duplication and distribution.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: