grammar correction chap 4.1 LFS 6.6

stosss stosss at gmail.com
Thu Mar 11 13:52:37 PST 2010


On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 7:12 AM, Mike Lynch <mjlynch at mchsi.com> wrote:
> stosss wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 6:28 AM, Mike Lynch <mjlynch at mchsi.com> wrote:
>>
>>> stosss wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 9:32 PM, stosss <stosss at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Paul Brians
>>>>> Emeritus Professor of English
>>>>> Washington State University
>>>>>
>>>>> If the word following begins with a vowel sound, the word you want is
>>>>> “an”: “Have an apple, Adam.” If the word following begins with a
>>>>> consonant, but begins with a vowel sound, you still need “an”: “An
>>>>> X-ray will show whether there's a worm in it.” It is nonstandard and
>>>>> often considered sloppy speech to utter an “uh” sound in such cases.
>>>>>
>>>>> The same rule applies to initialisms like “NGO” (for “non-governmental
>>>>> organization”). Because the letter N is pronounced “en,” it’s “an NGO”
>>>>> but when the phrase is spoken instead of the abbreviation, it’s “a
>>>>> non-governmental organization.”
>>>>>
>>>>> When the following word definitely begins with a consonant sound, you
>>>>> need “a”: “A snake told me apples enhance mental abilities.”
>>>>>
>>>>> Note that the letter Y can be either a vowel or a consonant. Although
>>>>> it is sounded as a vowel in words like “pretty,” at the beginning of
>>>>> words it is usually sounded as a consonant, as in “a yolk.”
>>>>>
>>>>> Words beginning with the letter U which start with a Y consonant sound
>>>>> like “university” and “utensil” also take an “a”: “a university” and
>>>>> “a utensil.” But when an initial U has a vowel sound, the word is
>>>>> preceded by “an”: it’s “an umpire,” “an umbrella,” and “an
>>>>> understanding.”
>>>>>
>>>>> As found at:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/a.html
>>>>>
>>>>> also see:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors
>>>>>
>>>>> and
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/index.html
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> The articles "a", "an" and "the" can be dropped when there is only one.
>>>>
>>>> "You are doing an su to root" implies there are more su to root
>>>> commands. There is only one su, switch user or super user command.
>>>>
>>>> "You are doing the su to root" or "you are doing su to root", these
>>>> are correct but "a su" and "an su" are incorrect.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> As I read it, the second paragraph above of Paul Brians supports the use
>>> of "an" over "a" because "su"
>>> is an initialism where the first sound is "es".
>>>
>>
>> "a" and "an" are general. "an apple" means any apple. "the apple"
>> means one specific apple. Because there is only one su command the
>> "an" does not work because of the context.
>>
> But "apple" is word and "su" is an initialism.  Paul Brians' guide
> states specific rules when it comes to initialisms.  Those rules are
> related to the "sound" of the first letter of the initialism
> not the context in which it is used.


su may have been created as an initialism, but technically it is not,
su is a command. It does not matter if one is using initials or words
the same rules still apply.

As already stated "a" and "an" are general "the" is specific.



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