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Re: Another load of typos

On Thu, Mar 17, 2005 at 01:05:02PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 17, 2005 at 09:04:14AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> > Hamish Moffatt <hamish@debian.org> writes:

> > > (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". 

> > Ah, in "a history achievement", you accent the first syllable of
> > "history", which provokes you to pronounce the H.  In "an historic
> > achievement", the first syllable of "historic" is weak, and so most
> > Americans (at least) do not pronounce the H, and so we use "an".

> The only people I can recall ever hearing say "an historic" in en_US were
> idiot politicians, and they *did* pronounce the initial h.

> For that matter, I can't recall ever hearing anyone drop an initial h just
> because the syllable was unstressed.

> On what do you base this claim of "most"?

Bill Walsh (copy editor at The Washington Post) has given this topic a
reasonable going over [1], and comes out with the answer that American
Standard English is "a h*" but seems to concede that when the second
syllable of the h-word is stressed, the first can be weakened and the
'h' may disappear, leaving 'an *' (Which sounds like "anistoric event"
to me).

On the other hand...
"The stylebook of the London Times calls for an hotel, an historic and an
heroic. But, remember, that's British English."

As to when the second syllable of a h-word is stressed, that's an
exercise for the speaker. ^_^

[1] http://www.theslot.com/a-an.html

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"

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