Thursday, December 8, 2011

Give Me an H!

The error in today's post should be easy to spot. The photo caption notifies us of "an shake-up" in professional baseball. I have "an problem" with this one.

It's not an egregious error, but when I saw it, I knew it afforded me the opportunity to discuss a similar item I see — and hear — from time to time: "an historic."


That is not right, people. The University of Florida football team's 52-20 victory in the 1996 national championship game was not "an historic" event; it was a historic event. (To this blogger, anyway.) The article a should be used before consonant sounds, and the article an should be used before vowel sounds. The h in historic is not silent; therefore, the article a precedes it.

It's an honest mistake but a horrific one. (Note the correct usage of articles in that last sentence!)

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