Writing Pet Peeves #4: A/An

Okay. I have no idea how long ago I was taught when to use “A” versus when to use “An” but it was very early on in my school years. Unfortunately, I’m not going to go into a mini lesson about the two because every person who reaches my blog is well beyond the age at which one should know how to use them. I mean, if you read a sentence out loud that uses one of these words incorrectly it just doesn’t sound right. Let’s try.

“A eagle flew high above the park.”

That sounds wrong. So saying that they both sound correct isn’t even close to being a legitimate excuse. Let’s try one more.

“An girl walked along the busy street.”

Oh my goodness. No. This is ridiculous. I bet some of you are thinking that these two examples are so obvious, but no. Every time one of these two words is used incorrectly the error is so obvious that you just want to kick someone in the shin. Or is that just me?

25 thoughts on “Writing Pet Peeves #4: A/An

  1. While I don’t see this error often, it is very grating. And it’s too funny, because I just posted my latest… How To Be A (Good) Artist… and I cringed. Because it’s How To Be AN Artist… but the (Good) had to be there for effect. But… A… An… A…. AN….. OMG! I almost retitled it, but then just decided to go with it. LOL

    It’s here… if you want to read! https://shananwinters.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/how-to-be-a-good-artist/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol, that might just be you. I normally write with a passion and no remorse. Sometimes I’m so excited that I don’t even check my work after. That seems to be my issue never checking after, I guess I need to curb my excitement with my post so I don’t get kicked 🙂


  3. What about the “h”-factor? I wish it was as simple as “an” before a vowel and “a” before a consonant, but “an historical event” is not wrong. “An” before some “h”s annoys me. Linguistically, this goes way back to when “an” started as an elision of the word “one.” Then, later, “a” became an elision of “an” before certain consonants. Use of “a” spread and widened to include more words. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course you’re not alone in this.
    Try this on for size: A apple an day keeps duh doctir uhway.
    Huh? Huh?
    Doesn’t it make you want to cringe and punch something?
    Heheehee… I’m evil… >:-)


  5. Ohhh, it’s not just you, believe me! I can’t stand it either. The only time I can excuse, it is when you read it in dialogue and the author is trying to be authentic with their character’s speech. Then… bravo for fussing over the tiny details that make all the difference!


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