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Today I read a tweet from a respected British journalist which stated:

"an flawed institution".

To my ear this is wrong and should be "a flawed institution"

Albeit, I appreciate you can say "an institution". So why (if I am correct and they are wrong) does this change an > a occur.

Could somebody clear this up and give a reason as to why each is right/wrong.

Thanks in advance.

marked as duplicate by Laurel, JJJ, Michael Rybkin, sumelic, TrevorD Apr 2 at 13:50

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    It's a typo. Even respected journalists make them. Probably more frequently in tweets than elsewhere. – Juhasz Mar 29 at 19:21
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    It's a typo. It's possible that the author originally wrote "an institution" and then inserted "flawed," forgetting to change the "an" to "a." It's also possible that the author originally used a different adjective that started with a vowel sound and then later changed it to "flawed" but forgetting to change the article from "an" to "a." A lot of things are possible. Whatever the case, you're right that it should be "a," not "an." – Benjamin Harman Mar 29 at 20:51
  • It should be noted that some British accents exchange starting vowel sounds for consonant sounds, or vice-versa, for certain words. I don't know that there's any such sound swapping for "flawed" (or any other word starting with "f"), but it's not out of the question. – Hot Licks Mar 30 at 1:53
  • Hot Licks - "I don't know that there's any such sound swapping for "flawed" (or any other word starting with "f"), but it's not out of the question." It might not be "out of the question", but no British people ever do it. – Michael Harvey Mar 30 at 8:05
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it probably results from a typo! – TrevorD Apr 2 at 13:50
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In a comment, Benjamin Hartman wrote:

It's a typo. It's possible that the author originally wrote "an institution" and then inserted "flawed," forgetting to change the "an" to "a." It's also possible that the author originally used a different adjective that started with a vowel sound and then later changed it to "flawed" but forgetting to change the article from "an" to "a." A lot of things are possible. Whatever the case, you're right that it should be "a," not "an."

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