why do we have the same songs for X-MAS?

Jim   Wednesday, November 24, 2004, 06:18 GMT
"An historical" is an exception to the rule ... or more correctly an extension to it. If the word starts with /h/ and the first syllable is unstressed, feel free to use either "a" or "an". I'd use "an" but perhaps this is going out of fashion.

Of course, if you drop your "h"s, then words never start with /h/ and you'll be putting an "an" in front of all of these words. Thus you'll say "an hare", "an hedge", "an hydrogen bomb" but it'll come out as [@ne..], [@nedZ], [@naidr..g.nbom].

I think that it was probably "h" dropping that got this "exception" going in the first place. By the way, "h" dropping isn't new, why do you think that we don't pronounce the "h"s in "hour", "honour", etc.?

And this brings me to the other point. Yes, the rule follows pronunciation not spelling. And as far as I'm aware it's a universal rule. You'd say "a uniform", "a union", "a ewe". Similarly you'd say "a heir". Also whether you say "an herb" or "a herb" depends on your dialect: [@ne:(r)b] vs. [..he:(r)b].


Yes, I spotted you're irony. I'm sure you spotted my humour too.


You're welcome.