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    #1

    a usurper or an usuper

    Hi, I'd like to know if I both a/an are possible before the noun usurper
    Thanks Rip

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    #2

    Re: a usurper or an usuper

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Hi, I'd like to know if I both a/an are possible before the noun usurper
    Thanks Rip
    "usurper" begins with a long u sound (like the word 'you'), so only 'a usurper' is correct.

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    #3

    Re: a usurper or an usuper

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    "usurper" begins with a long u sound (like the word 'you'), so only 'a usurper' is correct.
    The problem is that John Donne wrote "I, like an usurp'd town" in his sonnet "Batter my heart" and even if I knew the rule I had some doubts...
    Is it poetic freedom in Donne's case?
    Thanks. rip

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    #4

    Re: a usurper or an usuper

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    The problem is that John Donne wrote "I, like an usurp'd town" in his sonnet "Batter my heart" and even if I knew the rule I had some doubts...
    Is it poetic freedom in Donne's case? I don't know. But John Donne died in 1631, so that is an old poem. Anyway, at least in North America, 'a usurper' is correct.
    Thanks. rip
    2006

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    #5

    Re: a usurper or an usuper

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    The problem is that John Donne wrote "I, like an usurp'd town" in his sonnet "Batter my heart" and even if I knew the rule I had some doubts...
    Is it poetic freedom in Donne's case?
    Thanks. rip
    It could be that the pronunciation has changed since his time. There's an example of 'an usurpation' from 1838 in a legal text here (first line):
    Reports of cases argued and ... - Google Books

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    #6

    Re: a usurper or an usuper

    The Great Vowel Shift seems to be guilty, doesn't it?

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