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Re: [PATCH] more typo/wording fixes

From: <Mathias.Weinert_at_gfa-net.de>
Date: 2006-03-01 15:15:21 CET

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Ed Price wrote:

> One last attempt at this trivial fix (from my original patch):
> Google "indefinite article abbreviation style"...
> The first hit is the Chicago Manual of Style FAQ.
> Executive summary: It says "an MD5" is correct. [1]
> The second hit is a style manual from Rutgers, which agrees. [2]
> Finally, as I said before, "an MD5" is used consistently EVERYWHERE
> ELSE in Subversion. And it's not just Subversion; you can google "an
> MD5" vs "a MD5" to see that the former is more popular in general.
> You might also try "an MBA" vs "a MBA", "an MRI" vs "a MRI", etc.
> OK?? Sheesh :)
> [[[
> * subversion/libsvn_repos/dump.c
> (dump_node): Trivial comment wording fix.
> ]]]
> Index: subversion/libsvn_repos/dump.c
> ===================================================================
> --- subversion/libsvn_repos/dump.c (revision 18650)
> +++ subversion/libsvn_repos/dump.c (working copy)
> @@ -485,7 +485,7 @@
> }
> /* If we are supposed to dump text, write out a text length header
> - here, and a MD5 checksum (if available). */
> + here, and an MD5 checksum (if available). */
> if (must_dump_text && (kind == svn_node_file))
> {
> unsigned char md5_digest[APR_MD5_DIGESTSIZE];
> Thanks,
> -Ed
> PS Gory details:
> [1]
> Q: Dear Sir or Madam: My client prefers to use the article 'a'
> before an abbreviation such as LCMS. I suggest using 'an', since the
> letter 'L' is pronounced "ell". What does the Chicago Manual of
> Style recommend?
> A: When an abbreviation follows an indefinite article, the choice of
> 'a' or 'an' is determined by the way the abbreviation would be read
> aloud, so in this case, we would use 'an'. Please see CMS 15.9 for
> more information and examples.
> [...]
> Q: I am trying to find out when you write if you say "an MBA" or "a
> MBA." Here is the example I'm trying to figure out: He earned an MBA
> from Harvard Business School and a BS from the Wharton School,
> University of Pennsylvania.
> A. Write what you say. MBA is an initialism, pronounced "em be ayy"
> (or something like that). It begins, then, with a vowel sound: write
> "an MBA." On the other hand, write "a master of business
> administration degree." Initialisms and acronyms are generally
> intended to be read as such, whereas abbreviations (e.g., 5th St.,
> read "fifth street") are often meant to conjure the full form.
> [2] http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/a.html
> Use 'an' in place of 'a' when it precedes a vowel sound, not just a
> vowel. That means it's "an honor" (the h is silent), but "a UFO"
> (because it's pronounced yoo eff oh). This confuses people most often
> with acronyms and other abbreviations: some people think it's wrong
> to use "an" in front of an abbreviation (like "MRI") because "an" can
> only go before vowels. Poppycock: the sound is what matters. It's "an
> MRI," assuming you pronounce it "em ar eye."

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Received on Wed Mar 1 15:17:43 2006

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