Tuesday, July 10, 2007

a question of grammar

In my last post, I quoted the annoying technician working in the vicinity. However, in keeping with my style, I blanked out the f-word; to have left it out completely would, I feel, have lessened the effect of the quotation.

In doing so, an interesting question has arisen. I preceded the word by "an", as one would if they said "effing". However, the technician preceded by it "a", because he didn't exactly say "effing" per se. So, arguably, "an" is incorrect, but to have written "a" wouldn't have seemed right either.

What do you reckon?

1 comment:

Mark said...

I would recommend that you refer to your quotation as a paraphrase rather than a direct quotation. You will then be justified in replacing the offending word with `effing' and thus resolve the grammatical ambiguity.