[Bug 265247] Typos in the FreeBsd HandBook, Chapter 30 'Network Servers', Section 30.4 titled 'Network Information System'.

From: <bugzilla-noreply_at_freebsd.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2022 02:07:20 UTC

--- Comment #7 from ghislain <ghislain@smartix.llc> ---
(In reply to Graham Perrin from comment #3)

Thanks for the pointer. It triggered a curiosity that I wanted to satisfy and
therefore more effort was put into understanding the issue. We seem to be
witnessing a grammatical nuance of the English language creeping into the
documentation. This nuance is explained by reasons pertaining to the historical
usages of the English language coupled with preferences in the choice of
articles used to define nouns (or acronyms in our particular case).

No scientific solution has been proposed/found to solve the issue so freedom is
given to English readers/speakers to choose the article that best fits the
situation in both written and spoken English.

To quote the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage :

> A few words, such as historic and (especially in England) hotel, 
> are in transition, and may be found with either a or an. 
> You choose the article that best suits your own pronunciation. 

This nuance is confusing enough for the English speaking community to spark
fierce debates on the matter. Being from Burkina Faso ( a french speaking
country in West Africa), this nuance just adds more confusion in the
terminology used.

In closing, this begs few questions. 

1- How many users does this really affect because right now It seems to be only
me. But because I am fairly confident that I am speaking for a larger community
as suggested by the fierce debate on the subject, the next two questions are
not only legitimate but also relevant. 

2- Does this call for a convention in the documentation? 

3- Does this call for a more general consensus?

Full Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-it-a-or-an

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