grammar and abbreviations?

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Anonymous

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Hello! I am proofreading a technical manual at the moment and have come upon a puzzling quandary. What is the correct usage of "a" and "an" when they proceed abbreviations? Here is my statement...

"Submit a SSN only for sole proprietorships that have not been issued a FEIN."

Should "a" and "an" be used as the abbreviation is spelled out while reading or as the whole term is spoken while reading? My grammar checker in Word 2002 does not care either way.

Thanks for your insightful replies!
 

MikeNewYork

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HeadScratcher said:
Hello! I am proofreading a technical manual at the moment and have come upon a puzzling quandary. What is the correct usage of "a" and "an" when they proceed abbreviations? Here is my statement...

"Submit a SSN only for sole proprietorships that have not been issued a FEIN."

Should "a" and "an" be used as the abbreviation is spelled out while reading or as the whole term is spoken while reading? My grammar checker in Word 2002 does not care either way.

Thanks for your insightful replies!

It is very common to use the articles if the writer expects the reader to read the abbreviation as words.

If one pronounces the abbreviation as a word (acronym), use "a" before a consonant sound and "an" before a vowel sound.

If one spells out the letters of the abbreviation (intitialism) use the pronunciation of the first letter as a guide. Again, use "a" before a consonant sound and "an" before a vowel sound.

If one expects the reader to read the real words, use the pronunciation of the first word as a guide. Again, use "a" before a consonant sound and "an" before a vowel sound.
 
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supermenvn

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Hello!
I'm a newmember and I want to study grammar in English , so if you have free time then please teacher me ?? okie!
Thank you so much!

HeadScratcher said:
Hello! I am proofreading a technical manual at the moment and have come upon a puzzling quandary. What is the correct usage of "a" and "an" when they proceed abbreviations? Here is my statement...

"Submit a SSN only for sole proprietorships that have not been issued a FEIN."

Should "a" and "an" be used as the abbreviation is spelled out while reading or as the whole term is spoken while reading? My grammar checker in Word 2002 does not care either way.

Thanks for your insightful replies!
 

Tdol

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I'd say an SSN. ;-)
 

Casiopea

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HeadScratcher said:
Hello! I am proofreading a technical manual at the moment and have come upon a puzzling quandary. What is the correct usage of "a" and "an" when they proceed abbreviations? Here is my statement...

"Submit a SSN only for sole proprietorships that have not been issued a FEIN."

Should "a" and "an" be used as the abbreviation is spelled out while reading or as the whole term is spoken while reading? My grammar checker in Word 2002 does not care either way.

Thanks for your insightful replies!

I agree with Mike and tdol's advice.

"Submit an SSN only for sole proprietorships that have not been issued an FEIN."

:D
 
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