"An" before a "H" word.

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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#21  Postby chaggle » Sep 04, 2011 7:05 pm

Animavore wrote:

EDIT: Some may have noticed I said "a 'h'" and not "an 'h'". In Hiberno-English we pronounce it 'haitch' not 'aitch'.


Isn't that one of the ways that you can tell Roman Catholics from Protestants? I was brought up (in the south of England) as a Protestant and always pronounced it "aitch". I was sent to a Roman Catholic school where suddenly everybody said "haitch". Very odd I thought.

"A hour" and "A heir" are both just wrong. "A hotel" and "An hotel" are both used and I don't know which is right or wrong - it's possible both are acceptable.

"Could of" is wrong.

I guess I'm a bit of a grammar nazi. :(
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#22  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Sep 04, 2011 9:23 pm

Same rule as "the" Before a consonant pronounced thuh; before a vowel pronounced thee. If the next letter is silent, then it applies to the first letter to be voiced.

Thee heir, thee hour.
Thuh hollow, thuh hero.
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#23  Postby Varangian » Sep 04, 2011 9:45 pm

All this reminds me of the story about the actress Jean Harlow, said to have been the sexiest actress in 1930's Hollywood. She was at a dinner party and continuously addressed Margot Asquith (wife of British prime minister Herbert Asquith) as "Margot", pronouncing the "T". Margot finally had enough and said to her, "No, Jean, the 'T' is silent, like in 'Harlow'".
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#24  Postby mraltair » Sep 04, 2011 9:50 pm

:lol:
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#25  Postby ughaibu » Sep 04, 2011 10:53 pm

thaesofereode wrote:banish the thought — or even the slightest whiff — of my being a "grammar nazi." I've been roundly and thoroughly criticized (or "criticised" for our esteemed UK denizens) for bringing up points of grammar on this forum, so I've sworn it off . . . at least for now.
How about "based off of" instead of "based on", is that spreading from the US?
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#26  Postby Berthold » Sep 05, 2011 7:03 pm

chaggle wrote:"A hotel" and "An hotel" are both used and I don't know which is right or wrong - it's possible both are acceptable.

This could be a remnant of "hotel" being a French loanword; perhaps the h was originally silent in English use, too.
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#27  Postby Saim » Sep 24, 2011 1:45 am

The_Piper wrote:
thaesofereode wrote:While we're on the subject of "h" words, I'm noticing with increasing frequency the phrase "might of," when people actually mean to say "might have" -- as in, "I might have left the door open." Is this also a result of unpronounced letters "h" in common usage?

:lol: :lol: That one's grammatically wrong. They are spelling out "might've, could've, etc" the way it sounds.

Then it's by definition an orthographic, not grammatical mistake.

Anyway, there's no such thing as "wrong" language, only "non-standard" or "wrong/unadvisable for a given situation/register".

chaggle wrote:Isn't that one of the ways that you can tell Roman Catholics from Protestants?

Historically yes, although at least in Australia I think many people of Protestant or non-Christian background will say "heitch". I'm not certain though, I at least do aspirate it (although at one point I was convinced not to due to uninformed prescriptivism).
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#28  Postby Saim » Sep 24, 2011 1:58 am

CdesignProponentsist wrote:Same rule as "the" Before a consonant pronounced thuh; before a vowel pronounced thee. If the next letter is silent, then it applies to the first letter to be voiced.

Thee heir, thee hour.
Thuh hollow, thuh hero.

I say "thuh" for all four examples. And here I thought "thuh/thee" was only a matter of emphasis! Perhaps this distinction is absent from my dialect or idiolect?

How do you say:

The only way to prevent the Armenian from going to the ocean is...
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#29  Postby Gallstones » Sep 24, 2011 3:46 am

Varangian wrote:Anhimavore.


:clap: :thumbup:
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Re: "An" before a "H" word.

#30  Postby Onyx8 » Sep 24, 2011 3:54 am

When I first moved to Canada from the UK, I was driving around with a couple friends and asked what the big green "H" signs were on the side of the road. My friend told me they were telling you that there was a hospital here and asked if I would have preferred that they have an "O" for 'ospital.
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