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When Grammar Meets History 
10th-Jan-2012 01:17 pm
Monroe
Poll #1809772 Grammar Meets History

When describing a place, like a city, state or country, which in your opinion is grammatically correct? (E.G.: "Welcome to _________ Philadelphia.")

historic
42(72.4%)
historical
7(12.1%)
either is fine
8(13.8%)
Something else (what?)
1(1.7%)

Same question as above, but also, what is the correct article? (E.G.: "This is ___ __________ occasion."

a historic
15(25.9%)
an historic
16(27.6%)
a historical
6(10.3%)
an historical
5(8.6%)
either adjective is correct, the correct article is "a"
5(8.6%)
either adjective is correct, the correct article is "an"
4(6.9%)
either article is correct, the correct adjective is "historic"
4(6.9%)
either article is correct, the correct adjective is "historical"
1(1.7%)
any of the first four options is fine
1(1.7%)
something else (what?)
1(1.7%)
Comments 
10th-Jan-2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
I was taught it's an historic, but that sounds awful every time I hear it. Same with attorneys general.
10th-Jan-2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
I always hear people say "an historic", but I was taught that you only use "an" if the next word begins with a vowel. Things that make you go hmmm.
11th-Jan-2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
I thought it was the sound of the word, not the letter it began with. That said, I say historic with an "h" sound, so I said "a historic" but I say hour without the "h" sound, so I say "an hour."
12th-Jan-2012 01:45 am (UTC)
You;re probably right, that makes sense (especially your example of "hour." Do who pronounces it 'istoric?
13th-Jan-2012 12:59 am (UTC)
I always thought that was a UK thing. Maybe it's regional?
10th-Jan-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
1. Both are fine grammatically, but historic sounds better to me.

2. All are fine grammatically. "An historic" is what sounds natural to me, and in print I would always go with "an" rather than "a." Orally, the article depends on the degree to which the h is pronounced.
11th-Jan-2012 12:10 am (UTC)
I don't care what the official rules say, unless you live in a region where you don't pronounce your H's, "historic" starts with a consonant sound and thus "a historic" should be correct, because if you're pronouncing the H properly, "an historic" sounds utterly stupid.
11th-Jan-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
Just so.
(Deleted comment)
13th-Jan-2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Everyone I know says "a historic" because we pronounce the H. I've only heard "an historic" from people outside the US. It used to not make sense to me until I'd heard/read it several times.
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