Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Exasperated by Abuse of the Aspirated H

This sign threw me into a Strunk and White funk. I just hate the use of "an" before an aspirated "h".

(Yeah, I know it's common on the other side of the pond, but those crazy Brits also drive on the wrong side of the road.)

When the "h" is aspirated, or breathed out as you pronounce the word, I think it should be treated as a consonant.

A historic event happened here.

When the "h" is silent, and the word begins with a vowel sound, then the use of "an" makes sense.

Meet me in an hour. After I've calmed down.


ZZiby said...

I'm from Jersey we don't even say the 'h'. I am often teased on this coast for saying the word huge. People just hear uge.

Liz said...

Yeah, yooze guys from north Jersey have your own language.

919 said...

This grammatical outrage is also perpetrated on our local news stations on which breathless reporters report on "an historic event..." Worse that nails on a chalkboard.

Unknown said...

OMG - I'm not a linguist but some things drive me crazy. That's always been one of them. I looked it up in some dictionary years ago only to be saddened by reading it's supposed to be "an historic...". I'm on your side as usual.