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Thread: An history?


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    #1

    An history?

    I have been told (maybe erroneously) that the pronoun "an" should always be used with the word history. If this is correct then in my opinion it makes pronounciation rather difficult. For example :

    "I was reading an history of the Jaguar Car Company."

    as opposed to

    "I was reading a history of the Jaguar Car Company."

    I feel that using "an" encourages one to drop the h.

    All advice will be gratefully received.

    Thank you,


    Paul.

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    #2

    Re: An history?

    Strange, isn't it?

    Some people pronounce the h in history. Some don't. My (American) dictionary says to pronounce it, but English comes in many flavors.

    People who pronounce the h use a. Those who don't use an.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

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    #3

    Re: An history?

    PS -

    Your comment about pronunciation is exactly right. The choice of a or an always comes down to which one is easier to say. So if you're going to pronounce the h, a is definitely the way to go.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 17-Mar-2009 at 15:27.


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    #4

    Re: An history?

    Thanks Charlie, your opinion was very informative. I am very much a pronouncer of the letter h hence my dilemma. I also pronounce the h in "white" whereas everyone else at work pronounces it "wite".

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    #5

    Re: An history?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMcElhinney View Post
    Thanks Charlie, your opinion was very informative. I am very much a pronouncer of the letter h hence my dilemma. I also pronounce the h in "white" whereas everyone else at work pronounces it "wite".
    Yup. In American English, the h in wh has disappeared from every word except whew.

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