Posted by: Josey | February 23, 2009

Fellow Grammar Nerds, Your Opinions Please…

On the cover of a recent issue of Affluent Traveler magazine that I picked up at the NY Times Travel Show, a headline reads: “A NYC CONCIERGE TELLS ALL.” In my last post, I opted to write “…lN AN NYC NEIGHBORHOOD FAR, FAR AWAY…”

If we were writing out “New York City,” we would, of course, use “an,” but we’re not… So, who’s right?

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Responses

  1. I have to go with a NYC. If you say it outloud (several times in a row at least) it sounds weird the way the n from an blends with the n from NYC

  2. I believe it is a, not an.

  3. But but but… the beginning sound of “NYC” is not the consonant “N” sound, but rather an “eh” sound: “En-Y-C.” I don’t know–I’m still not convinced! Would you write “a envelope?” No, you would write “an envelope,” right? Why would this be any different? (I really want to know!)

    :)

  4. The sound at the beginning of envelope is en or on depending on what part of the country you come from, but both sounds begin with a vowel. New starts with the consonant N followed by the e and w giving a much harder sound than the soft sound of a vowel. Therefore, I believe you would always say “a” before the word new, like in ” a new beginning.”

  5. Correct! But I’m not asking about “a New York City” vs. “an New York City” (obviously the former)–I’m asking about “a NYC” vs. “an NYC.” Hmm…

  6. The correct answer is in the pronunciation and not the letters. If you’re saying “enn why cee” then it’s “an NYC.” If you’re saying “New York” but abbreviating it, it’s “a NYC.” The second method, while visually awkward, is not inappropriate.

    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/a.html

  7. I’m with David all the way, and I guess I never thought of it as enn why cee until I saw it written out that way and only now do I see your dilemma!

  8. As always I bow to your grammatical/red pen genius.


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