Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Historic Can Go To Hell!

An Historic Can Go To Hell!

Yeah, that's right I said it. I was going to use Hispanic instead of Historic, but that wouldn't have gone over well.

This is probably one of those grammar cases where I have plenty of support but plenty of detractors, too. Lots of people on both sides of the fence. Doing research for this post, I was not trying to find evidence of one way being correct or not. I already know I'm correct. I merely needed a few examples from Wikipedia.

Here's the problem. What is with people using the article "an" before a non-silent H? The question is simple. Why? When I hear Alex Trebek read an answer on Jeopardy with "an historical" in it, that is an immediate channel changer. It could be the World Championships Double Jeopardy Extravaganza and oops, my ears are bleeding to that phrase. How's that for a Pet Peeve?

Now, I am not advocating that an hour, an heir, or an honorable grammar discussion are incorrect. Those H words have silent H's at the beginning and therefore deserve the "an" before them. However, it is pure laziness to not pronounce the H in Historic or Hypothesis or Hispanic when you use an indefinite article in front of it. Do you otherwise talk about your Ypothesis on Istoric buildings and the Ispanic population of Miami? I didn't think so!

So if you're trying to be snobby or speak all proper Queens's English and stuff (and you're not British), knock it off. You too, Alex! You're Canadian as I found out when I almost wrote you in for US President in my college years.

Finally, if you want to hear a funny "Hello" without the H, check out the little girl trying out her best British Accent in the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston movie "Just Go With It". If you are not patient enough to watch a 33 second video, it's at 13 seconds.


marie said...

I actually got into a fight with my HS English teacher over this exact thing (like, hair-pulling, scratching, the works.) and I think it's a regional thing. When I was younger I read Stephen King novels almost exclusively and I noticed he would use an hallucination, an historic, etc. That bitch teacher maintained it was just straight-up wrong. I maintained it was a regional thing and all depends on the way you pronounce it. Also I'm smarter and funnier and a better person than you.

P.S. People in Indiana say "acrossed" and it drives me absolutely batshit.

Rob said...

I bet you were a joy in the classroom! Good thing you were using such a mainstream normal person like Stephen King to back up your argument.

Anyway, smarter and funnier? Perhaps. But you're still wrong and you owe that teacher an apology.

Still trying to figure out "acrossed"

TJ Lubrano said...

Hello! This situation killed a lot of my brain cells. Kid you not. I get it with hour or honor, but why with Hispanic? Either way, I only use when I can't hear the "h" otherwise "a" it is!

I forgot you had a second site, Rob. :)

Rob said...

Oh, Tahira, this is an old post here. I've neglected this one too long.

But for real, "an historical"? Please!

Thanks from an English as "a" eighth language commenter!!!!!!!

TJ Lubrano said...

Hahaha! I just noticed the date! It was late and I didn't pay attention :)

The Dutch language has many odd grammar twists. I still get confused. German is worse, for me anyway.

Rude, I say!