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Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?

What article should be used directly in front of an acronym that begins with 'N?' Since the pronunciation of the letter 'N' begins with a vowel sound, would 'an' be correct?

marked as duplicate by waiwai933 Jul 23 '11 at 4:17

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I asked the same question and it was closed. The consensus here seems to be "do whatever you want"; I use the article corresponding to saying the English-language, expanded version, so that people who read it most properly won't complain.

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    But an acronym really means a pronounceable abbreviation, so that pronunciation should determine the article used. For example, it should be 'a laser'. I think people would be more likely to complain if you said 'an L A S E R'. – pavium Jul 23 '11 at 4:30
  • Except the first word is "light", so your and my method happen to agree on "a" here. – Patrick87 Jul 23 '11 at 4:33
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    Ah, this is what you meant by expanded version -- I see. But I stand by the idea that the pronunciation of the acronym is what decides the article. An abbreviation like LCD is another matter because it's unpronounceable as an English word, therefore not an acronym. – pavium Jul 23 '11 at 4:48

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