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Re: Bug#584508: typo in in message

On Fri, Jun 04, 2010 at 09:58:29AM -0700, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
> tags 584508 wontfix
> thanks
> On Fri, Jun 04, 2010 at 09:17:28AM +0200, Ralf Treinen wrote:
> > Unpacking ltsp-client-core (from .../ltsp-client-core_5.2.2-1_amd64.deb) ...
> > Aborting installation.
> > The ltsp-client-core package provides the basic structure for an LTSP
> > terminal. It cannot be installed on a regular machine.
> > 
> > 
> > "an LISP" => "a LISP"
> LTSP, you mean?
> as i understand it, "an" is often used preceeding an acronym. as a native
> english speaker, the use of "an" here definitely sounds better to my ear.
> the text was reviewed by the debian-l10n-english team, perhaps they'd like to
> comment.

I never imagined that this bug report would generate such a discussion :-)

Disclaimer: I am not a native english speaker either. AFAIK, the rule 
is purely phonetic: you replace "a" by "an" when the next word is 
pronounced starting with a vowel: "an instance, an armour, an
estimation", and so on. The interesting case is when a word's spelling
starts with a consonant, but is pronounced starting with a vowel.
For instance, "an XML document". This has nothing to do with acronym
or not, it is just due to the fact that the letter "x" in isolation is
pronounced "eks", starting with a vowel. Similar are "an s",  "an n".
Inversely, it is "a y" (just try to say out loud "an y"!)

However, this is not the case with LISP since you pronounce it as a
single word, not as "ell-ei-ess-pee". Hence: "A LISP terminal". In
case of doubt just try to pronounce the phrase.

Probably not the most critical bug for the upcoming release ...

Cheers -Ralf.
Ralf Treinen
Laboratoire Preuves, Programmes et Systèmes
Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France.

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