[erlang-patches] trivia

Ulf Wiger <>
Tue Aug 9 09:23:47 CEST 2011

From the OWL:

"Use 'an' before unsounded 'h.' Because the 'h' hasn't any phonetic representation and has no audible sound, the sound that follows the article is a vowel; consequently, 'an' is used.

	• an honorable peace
	• an honest error"

…but that doesn't address this particular challenge, of course.

Wikipedia has a lengthy article on the subject (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H) and doesn't come down firmly on the issue of "an HTML page" or "a HTML page" (which it actually uses as an example):

"The non-standard haitch pronunciation of h has spread in England, being used by approximately 24% of English people born since 1982 and polls continue to show this pronunciation becoming more common among younger native speakers. Despite this increasing number, careful speakers of English continue to pronounce aitch in the standard way, although the non-standard pronunciation is also attested as a legitimate variant. The pronunciation haitch followed the introduction of Phonics and was designed to help prevent working class children from dropping the initial H in words such as hospital (otherwise pronounced as 'ospital)."


On 9 Aug 2011, at 09:07, Richard Carlsson wrote:

> On 08/09/2011 08:58 AM, Ulf Wiger wrote:
>> Matthias has a habit of giving me grammar advice on occasion, so I
>> thought I'd repay the favor by backing him up on this.
>> "Remember, using a or an depends on the sound that begins the next word."
> Ah, but is it "an HTTP server" or "a HTTP server"? Let the battle begin! (Hint: it's _obviously_ the first.)
>   /Richard

Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.

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