Exception to the rule?

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Anonymous

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I discovered a dilemma in the grammatical usage of ‘a’ or ‘an’. Before the relatively new word, HTML (hypertext markup language), which; in certain circles is used as a word such as LAZER or RADAR. The dilemma is visual and auditory, my ear says, “I have an HTML document.” But my eye demands I use ‘a’ before H. My theory is the word usage of HTML is compounded by the happenstance of it reading like a series of numbers. What do you think?
 

Tdol

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'An' comes before a vowel sound, not simply a vowel, which is why we say 'an html document' or 'an MA'. You'll see the opposite with letters beginning with a vowel which is pronounced as a consonant:
an egg\a European
an umbrella\a university
;-)
 

Francois

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Jun 15, 2004
I think this is similar to 'a hoax', or even 'a university'; you need to use 'a' to avoid an awkward pronunciation eg. a U-turn instead of an U-turn (would sound like "a new turn").

FRC
 

Tdol

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Simultaneous posting. ;-)
 
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