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Re: A linguistic question: a/an fo:block

Subject: Re: A linguistic question: a/an fo:block
From: JBryant@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 09:25:42 -0500
linguistic question
Hi, Peter,

Amongst my other sins, I used to teach English at a university, so I can 
tell you the rules that governs this issue. If the first sound of the 
pronounced form of the word is a consonant, use "a". If the first sound of 
the pronounced form of the word is a vowel, use "an". Thus, you should 
type "a unique widget" and "an utter disaster". In the case of all the FO 
elements, I've heard people pronounce it as two separate syllables (often 
the case with acronyms) and as one word (like the English word "foe"). In 
the first case, you'd type "an FO element". In the second case, you'd type 
"a FO element". (I bet that's the source of the inconsistency in the 
spec.)

Personally, I am accustomed to sounding out acronyms, because so many of 
them cannot be pronounced as words. Consider XML, XSLT, HTML, and so on. 
So, my answer to your question would be "an fo:block".

Jay Bryant
Bryant Communication Services
(presently consulting at Synergistic Solution Technologies)




Peter Gerstbach <peter.gerstbach@xxxxxxx> 
06/24/2005 02:55 AM
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Subject
 A linguistic question: a/an fo:block






Hello,

should I write "a fo:block" or "an fo:block"?
I am not a native speaker, so this is not clear for me. I think it 
depends on whether I spell "fo" or read it as a word.

Interestingly, the W3C specification is inconsistent with this.

Thanks,
Peter

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