an historical (pronouncing the h)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 15 12:40:08 UTC 2010

At 9/14/2010 11:34 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I, too, have always pronounced the H. But I have *not* always preceded
>said H with _an_. After having come across "an historical" in print, I
>thought that it was right boss and made a conscious decision to modify
>my grammar to permit that structure. I can't recall that I've ever had
>occasion to *speak* "an historical, an heroic," etc.. but I think them
>and write them.

    I say "an historical" and "an heroic".  With a little huff.  That
is, different from "an idiot". Self-reported, and self-conscious, and
therefore suspect.
    But I also say "a history" and "a hero".  With a definite huff.
    But everyone knows I'm strange ... and pretentious in my speech.

    Or -- is that because the first two are stressed on the second syllable,
and the last two on the first syllable?
    (Excluding the "a/an" of course.)

    I could say "a historical" and "a heroic".
    But I could not say "an history" or "an hero".  Or write
them.  Or read them without marking up the book.


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