Re: a or an

Subject: Re: a or an
From: "Owen Clancy" <clancy -at- caboolture -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 21:08:59 +1000

>The idea behind "an hotel" (or "an historic occasion") is
>that when "h" starts an unaccented syllable, the work might
>as well begin with a vowel because the "h" is so nearly
>unheard. I'm not agreeing, just explaining...
>Mark L. Levinson
>nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il
Gawd, strewth. Its an 'ateful thing to say, but I've just sat down at my
computer after an 'earty dinner and now I've discovered an 'orrible
explanation. And this when I'm going interstate tomorrow and staying in an
'otel; fair dinkum, it's an 'ard thing to take.

The irony was that I first recall this odd "an hotel" usage from 1960s
announcers in the days when all such persons spoke with plummy voices (to
demonstrate correct usage to colonials) and very deliberately voiced their


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