Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Articles


The noun phrase a elephant in the cartoon above (19 November 2010) looks like an error arising out of ignorance. However, a more plausible explanation is that the cartoonist had merely been very careless. As an amateur calligrapher myself I know all too well how easy it is to misspell even the simplest of words — and even one’s own name! — when writing (and typesetting) a piece very slowly and deliberately by hand, especially in capital letters.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Hi Ludwig

See alsp paper at http://eng.sagepub.com.ezp1.bath.ac.uk/content/38/4/297.full.pdf+html - It seems using 'a' before nouns beginning with a vowel is quite common in London too!

The Grammar Terrorist said...

Hi, Brian

That's interesting! I wonder if there's a phonological reason for that.

Thanks for the link, but I'm afraid I can't access the article (I'm asked to enter a password, which I don't have).