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An SAK or A SAK ?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by endurawave, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. endurawave


    Dec 4, 2007
    Does it bug anyone else when people write "an SAK" instead of "a SAK".

    For example, "Do you have an SAK in your pocket?" sounds wrong to me.
    "Do you have a SAK in your pocket?" sounds right to me?

    No one would ever say "Do you have an Swiss Army Knife in your pocket"?
    The same grammar applies to the abbreviation. :confused:
  2. silvius_brabo


    Aug 27, 2012
    Yes, but at a guess, it's because they're pronouncing it in their heads "ess-ay-kay".
  3. kniferbro


    Jan 22, 2011
    'an' is used when the word that follows starts with a vowel, such as 'an animal' or 'an egg beater'. What I think is people that say "SAK" like "sack" use "a SAK" but people that spell out the acronym "ES AY KAY" will type "an S A K".
  4. endurawave


    Dec 4, 2007
    Agreed... but in conversation no one uses the term SAK (sack), they say Swiss Army Knife.

    An example, People commonly do use the phrase FBI. So the sentence, "He is an FBI agent" reads correct.

    There is probably no right or wrong answer, it's just always bugged me, what can I say:rolleyes::)

    Yes I truly must be bored to be discussing this. LOL
  5. Knife Crazied

    Knife Crazied

    Apr 17, 2009
    A SAK sounds way better to me. :thumbup:
  6. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Give me an A. Give me a B. Give me a C. Give me a D. Give me an E. Give me an F. Give me a G. It varies with the letter.
  7. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    Yeah, maybe not grammatically correct, but there is something charmingly quirky about "an SAK," also catchy. At times I have found myself using it :p .
  8. BoxANT


    Mar 23, 2008
    An SAK sounds french. A SAK looks weird.

    We're f'ed..
  9. ASBOB

    ASBOB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    In conversation, yes, one usually says "swiss army knife".

    But when I'm reading SAK (or writing it) I think "esee-a-kay". So for me, "an" is correct.

    If I read it "sack" "a" would be correct.

    It's a question of how you're saying "sak".
  10. KrisNZ


    Aug 28, 2012
    He's right, 'an' is used before a vowel
  11. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    An is also used in front of letters that sound like a vowel. An H, an L, an M, an N, an R, an S, an X, etc.
  12. Bad Monkey

    Bad Monkey

    Jul 2, 2010
    Whilst the examples that you give hold up within the context that you're using them, generally they don't hold up grammatically. Could you give me an hand? I can see an mouse? I saw an frog? Nasa have just created an robot? I can play an xylophone?

    Of course, in gramma there are always exceptions. I've just had an xray....i'll let you have that one.

    This is correct.
  13. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Meh, grammar should be descriptive not prescriptive. It's a tool to make sure people understand what you're saying and I'm against reducing it to an arbitrary set of rules. Either one works for that purpose, so neither really bothers me.
  14. jazub

    jazub Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    A SAK is the standard model. The ANSAK has added tweezers a full size flat head scewdriver and a corkscrew ;)
  15. Jeff Jenness

    Jeff Jenness

    Sep 2, 2010
    Because the acronym is used then the article choice is entirely based on the pronunciation. One would not expand the acronym in place by saying "swiss army knife". If the writer meant to use the pronunciation "es-ee-kay", then "an" is the correct article usage. If the writer meant to use "sak", then "a" is correct. I would say that the acronym used here is not something in formal use but a natural abbreviation from an understood or common context. So, the pronunciation might be the contention here and not the article being used.
  16. OzarkCreekWalker


    Jul 25, 2011
    I've thought about this too. A SAK sounds wrong wrong wrong even though i know that it is technically correct.
  17. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    I think I would refer to it as 'a sack' just as soon as I would say 'the damaged vessel sent out a sauce', or I read about 'a seck ruling on the stock market'. Until then, an SAK, an SOS, an SEC.
  18. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    An is used in front of LETTERS that sound like a vowel. WORDS are a case by case application. It will take me an hour to ride a horse to town. An honest opinion is not as rare as a hen's tooth.
  19. MattyLav


    Jun 28, 2012
    Two me it sounds weird to say a SAK but it sounds right to say a Swiss army knife.
  20. Gargs


    Oct 3, 2007
    Their you go, your right!

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