dailysudoku.com Forum Index dailysudoku.com
Discussion of Daily Sudoku puzzles
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

"a" vs "an" before technique name?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    dailysudoku.com Forum Index -> General discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: "a" vs "an" before technique name? Reply with quote

I am curious to know what the posters and readers think about the use of "a" and "an" before a technique name. maybe there are some grammar aficianados that have an opinion?

for example,

"... a x-wing"

"...an x-wing"

"...a xy-wing"

"...an xy-wing"

"...a m-wing"

"...an m-wing"

etc...

sometimes I feel caught in between using one or the other. am I the only one?


Last edited by storm_norm on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wapati



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 472
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An is correct before a "word" where the initial sound is that of a vowel, regardless of the actual letter.

IMHO. Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marty R.



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 5179
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wapati wrote:
An is correct before a "word" where the initial sound is that of a vowel, regardless of the actual letter.

IMHO. Razz

As in "an X-Wing", because it sounds like it starts with a vowel, even though 'X" is a consonant.

A non-Sudoku example might be "a euchre game." The word starts with a vowel but sounds like the consonant "Y."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wapati



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 472
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

English is apparently the hardest language to learn.

Yep, I can believe it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what would spark my interest in this matter is if posters whose primary language isn't english also had an opinion and posted it.

that would be priceless.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wapati



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 472
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I answered your question.

You seem to be vacant.

I would next ask not doctors for medical opinions?


Last edited by wapati on Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:08 am; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wapati wrote:
storm_norm wrote:
what would spark my interest in this matter is if posters whose primary language isn't english also had an opinion and posted it.

that would be priceless.


And if I posted a hard-physics question (which I could do) I'd prefer a botanist to answer?

Norm, you are straying.


yeah, probably. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And if I posted a hard-physics question (which I could do) I'd prefer a botanist to answer?


just because I can speak english doesn't mean I am a master at it's grammar.
and just because someone has mastered english's grammar doesn't mean they speak it perfectly.
(it would be hopeful that they do)

a botanist might just be able to answer a physics question, just like it might be possible that a physicist might not be able to answer one.

the reason I said that it would be interesting for a person who didn't have english as a primary language to respond would hopefully give more insight on my question.
I'd gladly accept any comment on the matter. even from a botanist. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
daj95376



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 3855

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Withdrawn]

Last edited by daj95376 on Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:39 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny,
the question is how you write "a xy-wing" or how you write "a x-wing"

do you write:
a x-wing
or
an x-wing

and yes I mean you personally.
??
-------

no grammar officionados present reading this? no one interested in giving a straight answer? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


Last edited by storm_norm on Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marty R.



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 5179
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storm_norm wrote:
Danny,
the question is how you write "a xy-wing" or how you write "a x-wing"

do you write:
a x-wing
or
an x-wing

and yes I mean you personally.
??
-------

no grammar officionados present reading this? no one interested in giving a straight answer? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

Obviously I'm not Danny, but the general rule is that you write something the way you say it, "an X-Wing" in this particular example.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nataraj



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1029
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you asked, Norm, here's my "priceless" opinion Smile ...

English is not my foist language. Guess I qualify to give an answer ...

I write "an" x- xy- xyz- and m- wing.
I write "a" w-wing.

The rule "an" before vowel applies. And not just for grammar aficionados, I am sure:

Google search.:
Find "did a x-ray": appprox. 47.900 hits
Find "did an x-ray" approx. 182.000 hits

And, yes, I do A u-turn.


LOL, today I wrote: "first step, m-wing". Saying it and writing it is different after all, it seems...

___

edit 2051 GMT+2:

interesting things happen to Google's hit statistics once you follow through all pages:

"is a x-wing", initially "approx. 24.300 hits", after three pages, in fact 25 (!!!) hits

"is an x-wing", initially "approx 75.900", after 16 pages: 152 hits
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mogulmeister



Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So much to contribute but I fear this one died quite a while ago....pity.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pat



Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mogulmeister wrote:
So much to contribute but I fear this one died quite a while ago....pity.

well you woke it up---

storm_norm wrote:
just because I can speak english doesn't mean I am a master at it's grammar.

please correct to: its grammar [ no apostrophe ]
    it's a common mistake nowadays
    even for English-speakers

      it's = it is
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peterj



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 974
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat
I suffer from the same affliction as you - sadly I was taught when to use apostrophes at school and, try as I might, I can't forget it!

In the outside world you see such horrors as " its' ": someone clearly thought they needed some punctuation but weren't sure where to put it. But even the Times and Telegraph in London frequently get the third person singular neuter possessive pronoun wrong!

My advice take a deep breath and move one!

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"! Smile

One can argue the case as to whether consistent use of the apostrophe is foolish or not!
Peter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DonM



Joined: 15 Sep 2009
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is addressed in Wikipedia under the heading of English_articles:

Discrimination between a and an
The choice of "a" or "an" is determined by phonetic rules rather than by spelling convention. "An" is employed in speech to remove the awkward glottal stop (momentary silent pause) that is otherwise required between "a" and a following word. For example, "an X-ray" is less awkward to pronounce than "a X-ray," which has a glottal stop between "a" and "X-ray".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
daj95376



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 3855

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonM wrote:
This is addressed in Wikipedia under the heading of English_articles:

Discrimination between a and an
The choice of "a" or "an" is determined by phonetic rules rather than by spelling convention. "An" is employed in speech to remove the awkward glottal stop (momentary silent pause) that is otherwise required between "a" and a following word. For example, "an X-ray" is less awkward to pronounce than "a X-ray," which has a glottal stop between "a" and "X-ray".

It (sorta) explains "an X-ray" and numerous other instances, but I'm not sure it explains "a U-turn".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3184
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How dare you get glottal with me! Stop!

An yak?

Or, when are we going to debate swordfishes?

Keith Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mogulmeister



Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterj wrote:
Pat


My advice take a deep breath and move one!

Peter


Laughing On Peter, on ! When will one learn? Laughing

I'm totally with you on apostrophe usage. I am sad enough to have a copy of "Eats shoots and leaves." by Lynne Truss.

Another bugbear is the misuse of "I", "me" and "myself". There is a huge hobgoblin in my garden but I must just sigh and move one. Laughing


Last edited by Mogulmeister on Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mogulmeister



Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "y" in"yak" is a consonant sound so no glottal stop ! Same as the "U" in "U-turn", the opening sound is identical to the "y" in yak. Laughing

However, there are some subtleties which vary by country and even within country:

"An" hotel or "a" hotel ? "An" historic moment or "a" historic moment?

In England, because the h is omitted by some -both upper and working class- the use of "an" is preferred. The upper classes drop the "h" in hotel because it originates from a French word, "hôtel". The working class do it, because that accent drops its "aitches".

Maddeningly, the French rule doesn't continue, so, unlike our American cousins, who in a noble bid to respect Les Francais, say "'erb", the English tend to use "herb" which, as any American will tell you, is a man's name! Smile

When all is said and done it depends on what you do with the "h".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    dailysudoku.com Forum Index -> General discussion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group