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And yet "a historical" feels so blunt to say. "An historical" is smoother, easier. I also tend to say "an Hispanic..."

I don't think I say "an historical", but I do occasionally say "an 'istorian".

See ? There's all kinds...
I don't use the word "Hispanic" much and never as a noun.

Oh-oh. Is "Hispanic" becomming a bad word ?
234,000 Google hits on "an Hispanic'. Mostly adjectival. as "...Democrats carry their opposition to an Hispanic judge to absurd lengths." But also noun, as "We previously criticized the Bush Administration for not having an Hispanic in the cabinet..."

"An Hispanic" seems normal to me both as adjective and noun.

ER Lyon
The advice to Australians, via Macquarie and numerous usage guides, ... is no longer a question here. "An historical" is antiquated.

And yet "a historical" feels so blunt to say. "An historical" is smoother, easier.

Depends what you're used to. I have no problem with a historical occasion or a hysterectomy.
Do you say an hysterectomy? That would sound very odd here.

I heard the newsreader on the ABC (government owned tv) last night say "an horrific accident" with the "h" and could hardly believe mny ears.
I also tend to say "an Hispanic..." ER Lyon

The old rule was to use "an" when the accent falls on other than the first syllable.
A history book, an historical fact.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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There is the very plausible view that the addition of the "h" to the word was deliberate, in order to de-Frenchify it. IIRC the Poms and Frogs were in some sort of disupute in the early part of the 19th century.

So, there were activists thinking "we'd better pronounce it "herb" to get rid of this Frenchy silent " ? That's commitment.
Food faddists often take on a job of correcting everyone's pronunciation and other usage.
Julia Child, after decades of trying, did not really make a dent in the American "'erb". She promoted the "herb" (aspirate h) pronunciation, in spite of also promoting herself in her shows and her cook books as "The French Chef".
She was tremendously entertaining, though. I wonder how James Beard pronounced "herb".
And yet "a historical" feels so blunt to say. "An historical" is smoother, easier.

Depends what you're used to. I have no problem with a historical occasion or a hysterectomy.

"A hysterectomy" seems okay. Not "a historical occasion. It's something about having to follow "a" with an unaccented syllable. If you pronounce strongly, i can see how it would seem natural
Do you say an hysterectomy? That would sound very odd here.

It's becoming ambiguous. The more i think about all these usages, the more natural anything seems. Familiarity...
I heard the newsreader on the ABC (government owned tv) last night say "an horrific accident" with the "h" and could hardly believe mny ears.

That would seem normal to me with weak .
I also tend to say "an Hispanic..."

The old rule was to use "an" when the accent falls on other than the first syllable. A history book, an historical fact.

That is what is usual for me.
Now i'm going to be hyperconscious whenever any of these come up.

ER Lyon
"A hysterectomy" seems okay. Not "a historical occasion. It's something about having to follow "a" with an unaccented syllable. If you pronounce strongly, i can see how it would seem natural.

Is the first syllable of hysterectomy really much more accented than that of historical?

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
In my earlier post i replaced the schwa with an ... know how to get a schwa on the keyboard ?

I suppose you're asking for one of those fancy Unicode characters, but those don't display on my screen or many others'.

That's a handicap, on both sides.
In the quoted material above, I twice see a question mark in angle brackets. Whether that is changed or preserved in this reply is all part of the game.

I see the . Did the same thing happen with the ? (That's with circumflex.)
But around here, what we use for a schwa is @.

I don't mich like that. I'd rather use letters.
The ASCII IPA symbols are explained at the AUE website.

Yes, i'm remiss.
(PS - how do you pronounce "xerlome"?)

It was "erlome" for years on freenet groups. I've lost all those accounts. Then i lost a Yahoo account using that ID and couldn't retrieve it. I couldn't get a new account with that ID because the name was taken (by me of course). So i added the . I'm an ex-erlome. Pronounced as it looks, two syllables. zer'-loam

ER Lyon
("Followup-To:" header set to alt.usage.english.)
I don't use the word "Hispanic" much and never as a noun.

Oh-oh. Is "Hispanic" becomming a bad word ?

He's in Australia.
234,000 Google hits on "an Hispanic'. Mostly adjectival. as "...Democrats carry their opposition to an Hispanic judge to absurd lengths." ... Administration for not having an Hispanic in the cabinet..." "An Hispanic" seems normal to me both as adjective and noun.

Actually, it's pretty clear that in AmE "Hispanic" has been losing out to "Latino" for quite a while, rather like "Oriental" disappeared in favor of "Asian".

Salvatore Volatile
("Followup-To:" header set to alt.usage.english.)
Well, that's good. All this talk of "herb" had me worried. I do hear "herb" more than i used to. Now i can tell those speakers they are "eccentric". (They'll say "Huh?")

Martha Stewart is one person who has championed the 'h' pronunciation, I believe.

Salvatore Volatile
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Does anyone know how to get a schwa on the keyboard ?

Didn't know it was possible even in a text editor. You astound me.

I thought it was. What is astounding to me is that long lists of keyboard alt codes for diacritical, foreign, etc. does not include the schwa. Look at all the things on this site:
I can copy a schwa and many kinds of characters into the newsgroup form, but it seems it's no good because some people's systems are primative.
Here's a Sanscrit character: . Can you see it ? Can anyone ?

ER Lyon
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