Acronyms and articles

Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:16 am
Hi, I'm not a native English speaker and would like to know what rules apply when using the articles "a" and "an" with acronyms. For instance, would "an SMC" be preferable over "a SMC", given that the acronym starts with a consonant, but is pronounced as starting with a vowel (i.e., "ESS-EM-SEE").

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Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:22 am
Yes, if the sound at the beginning of the word is that of a vowell sound, you should use "an" for the indefinite article. This works the other way, as well. An acronym (or any other word) which begins with a vowell, but not with a vowell sound would take the indefinite article "a": a U.S.A. based organization, for example.
Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:29 am
Setanta wrote:
a vowell sound

Correct advice, but I trust it was inadvertence which led you to spell 'vowel' incorrectly...
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Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:31 am
No, a life-long, persistently repeated error.
Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:39 am
Does it happen with trowel, bowel, towel, rowel (a small spiked wheel at the end of a spur)?
Reply Wed 28 Dec, 2011 03:42 am
@Setanta, thanks a lot Smile

@Contrex, or maybe (s)he's just a true Simon Cowell fan Wink
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