Saturday, December 1, 2007

Look out, "detective of the law"--here come the grammar police!

Okay, I can totally understand it when people don't know whether to use a or an in front of a word like historian, for example. However, the above e-mail baffles me, because I don't understand how anyone could even think about debating whether it's a or an that goes in front of detective. Furthermore, I don't understand how anyone could choose the wrong one. I mean, come on--does detective sound like it begins with a vowel? I think not.


Dan said...

I would guess that it was originally written with the word "agent" or "investigator", instead of "detective". Then, "detective" was swapped in without regard to the preceding article.

The Grammarphile said...

That's certainly a logical explanation.