Possible Duplicate:
“a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement

If I were to use a (normal) parenthetical statement, the article would not cause problems. If I were to use a (unusual) parenthetical statement, the article seems incorrect.

How should I proceed? Is one of these options correct:

This is a (unusual) statement

This is an (unusual) statement

This is a(n unusual) statement

The last seems most appropriate to me but I suspect that is due to me and not the appropriateness of the sentence.

marked as duplicate by Hellion, Marthaª, MrHen, kiamlaluno, Cerberus Mar 28 '11 at 23:49

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  • 3
    I usually wimp out and write something else, like This is a (highly ununsual) statement – Jason Orendorff Mar 28 '11 at 19:14
  • @Jason: Yeah... me too but I have a hard time resisting novel syntax. – MrHen Mar 28 '11 at 19:17
  • @Hellion: Good find. My original title didn't find a match but I apparently forget to check after I changed it. @nohat's answer is probably correct for this as well. – MrHen Mar 28 '11 at 19:25

This seems to be a more than and includes the question "a/an" preceding a parenthetical statement. That was more about pronunciation, this is about orthography.

Often when I read a statement with parentheses, I will do two (mental) readings, one with the contents, one without. So in a logical sense, your third choice is the most appropriate.

However, it just looks really bizarre, more bizarre than the second choice. So go with the second. The first is wrong because you do need to pronounce the 'n'.

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