PDA

View Full Version : A SASE vs. An SASE



MightyScribbler
02-08-2007, 01:28 AM
Is it "A SASE is enclosed . . ." or "An SASE is enclosed . . . "?

veinglory
02-08-2007, 01:30 AM
Whether pronouced sase or said in full it seems to start with an 's'--hence 'a SASE'?

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 01:33 AM
Is it "A SASE is enclosed . . ." or "An SASE is enclosed . . . "?

I go with "A" because I consider it short for "A stamped, self-addressed envelope" is enclosed. And because "s' words usually call for an "a."

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 01:34 AM
I think you'd say and write either 'an SASE' or 'a self-addressed...'

veinglory
02-08-2007, 01:39 AM
Why 'an' SASE?

Gillhoughly
02-08-2007, 01:40 AM
"Enclosed please find a return envelope with sufficient postage."

If the agent or editor are they're like me they zone out at "Enclosed please find" because they know how it ends. (Oh, look: there's an envelope with STAMPS on it. How cool is that!?)

It's when you don't enclose return postage they get annoyed.

Whether they make use of it or not is beside the point, it's a Professional Courtesy Thing on the sender's part. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 01:44 AM
Why 'an' SASE?

Hi - 'SASE' isn't a word, it's an acronym. If it was a word, like 'stick' it would be 'a'. (Phonetically S.A.S.E. begins with 'es'...;)

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 01:48 AM
Hi - 'SASE' isn't a word, it's an acronym. If it was a word, like 'stick' it would be 'a'. (Phonetically S.A.S.E. begins with 'es'...;)

Most people I know use it as a word. I don't many people who spell it out. I sure don't. For me, it is a word, and is used like one, just as NASA is used as a word.

The rule with acronyms is that if one can be used as a word, it should be.

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 01:52 AM
Most people I know use it as a word. I don't many people who spell it out. I sure don't. For me, it is a word, and is used like one, just as NASA is used as a word.

The rule with acronyms is that if one can be used as a word, it should be.

I don't know anyone who uses it as a word. In the UK it's SAE not SASE. I think NASA's become a brand, but it's still an acronym!!

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 01:53 AM
Most people I know use it as a word. I don't many people who spell it out. I sure don't. For me, it is a word, and is used like one, just as NASA is used as a word.

The rule with acronyms is that if one can be used as a word, it should be.

Whose rule is it, James? Just curious...

icerose
02-08-2007, 01:57 AM
Well the reason for the SASE is Self Addressed Stamped Envelope where as yours would only be Self Addressed Envelope.

maestrowork
02-08-2007, 02:00 AM
Since it's an acronym I would use an SASE. Someone might use it as a word, as in "a sase" but I am not going to make that assumption.

But in a query, I would just say "SASE enclosed for your convenience."

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:01 AM
Well the reason for the SASE is Self Addressed Stamped Envelope where as yours would only be Self Addressed Envelope.

I always thought it was 'stamped addressed envelope'. Oh well, it must be UK government policy to reduce the length of acronyms for fear of them inadvertently turning into words:D

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:03 AM
Since it's an acronym I would use an SASE. Someone might use it as a word, as in "a sase" but I am not going to make that assumption.

But in a query, I would just say "SASE enclosed for your convenience."

Maestrowork - I'd kiss you, but then people would talk. ;)

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:07 AM
Maestrowork - I'd kiss you, but then people would talk. ;)

...err, that's a metaphorical kiss...

icerose
02-08-2007, 02:12 AM
I always thought it was 'stamped addressed envelope'. Oh well, it must be UK government policy to reduce the length of acronyms for fear of them inadvertently turning into words:D

Could be. :D

Maestro, that is an excellent suggestion. Start it with the acronym and avoid the whole mess.

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:15 AM
Could be. :D

Maestro, that is an excellent suggestion. Start it with the acronym and avoid the whole mess.

It's no mess - it's just grammar. Which I suppose is a contradiction in terms..:D

icerose
02-08-2007, 02:17 AM
It's no mess - it's just grammar. Which I suppose is a contradiction in terms..:D

Grammar's always been a mess for me. I was raised in a home where proper grammar was spoken. So throughout school I would use my ear to tell me which was correct and which wasn't. Which led to me not being able to explain a bit of it, but still acing the courses, thus not learning anything.

I can do it, I can pass the classes, I can't explain a single bit of it.

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:20 AM
The only person I know with perfect grammar and grammatical knowledge is Stephen Fry, and as far as I'm aware he's not on this board, although, Stephen, if you are, look forward to working with you;)

Provrb1810meggy
02-08-2007, 02:29 AM
I seriously think this does not matter, because both have good reasons behind them. I doubt anyone will get rejected due to using a instead of an or an instead of a. Personally, I use an. I used to use a, but then I heard that was wrong somewhere.

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:30 AM
I seriously think this does not matter, because both have good reasons behind them. I doubt anyone will get rejected due to using a instead of an or an instead of a. Personally, I use an. I used to use a, but then I heard that was wrong somewhere.

...it was that conference call you had with me and Maestrowork, wasn't it?

maestrowork
02-08-2007, 02:32 AM
I think it was an AA (Acronym Anonymous) meeting. They have the best donuts and coffee.

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:33 AM
I think it was an AA (Acronym Anonymous) meeting. They have the best donuts and coffee.

...now everyone's going to want to come along. We'll need to hire a bigger room.

gp101
02-08-2007, 02:35 AM
Hi - 'SASE' isn't a word, it's an acronym. If it was a word, like 'stick' it would be 'a'. (Phonetically S.A.S.E. begins with 'es'...;)

Hillgate is correct, from what I understand. I read it in an article years ago (maybe WD?) Technically "an SASE" is more proper because it's "an es-ay-es-ee" though no one calls it that. But a complete sentence is more proper than a sentence fragment, yet most of us use fragments, even in queries. You don't always have to use the most proper form of writing, with exceptions of course. Nobody but the most uptight get bothered if you use "a SASE". True, there are uptight agents but I don't want to think they'd discard your query solely because you used "a SASE" instead of "an SASE".

The point is irrelevant, however. Why bother mentioning it at all? They will see the paperclip and attached SASE, and they will know what it's for. You're being redundant announcing that you have enclosed it. Show, don't tell, remember?

maestrowork
02-08-2007, 02:39 AM
Why bother mentioning it at all? They will see the paperclip and attached SASE, and they will know what it's for. You're being redundant announcing that you have enclosed it. Show, don't tell, remember?

The problem is sometimes the letter gets separated from the attachments. That's why ms. should have headers to identify it. And SASE should have your name and return address on it. So in your letter, it's probably wise to mention the SASE so they know to look for it -- if it's not still attached to the letter.

jodiodi
02-08-2007, 02:44 AM
I wouldn't mention it in the body of the query letter. When I send such things, I always have the 'Enclosure(s)' heading at the bottom of the letter where I list what's in the envelope: Synopsis, Full Manuscript, SASE, Reply Card.

I run into this issue a bit with being a Registered Nurse. I always say I'm an RN. It just sounds right.

jdkiggins
02-08-2007, 02:47 AM
XYZ magazine will require an SASE with the request to avoid paying postage. An SASE is an envelope which includes postage and the address of the sender. It is just that, “an” envelope.

benbradley
02-08-2007, 02:53 AM
Whose rule is it, James? Just curious...

Actually, the original definition (I might need an old dictionary to prove it, but I strongly suspect this is true) of acronym is a word made up of the initial letters of a series of words, such as laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

The definition of Acronym has expanded to include initialisms - a sequence of letters, not neccesarily pronouncable, made from the initial letters of a series of words. We now call everything acronyms. We've even got "acronyms" to keep our acronyms straight:
TLA: Three Letter Acronym
FLA: Four Letter Acronym

Back to a vs. an, I've often seen "a historical" and "an historical" though it seems like the last one should be "an istorical."

Hillgate
02-08-2007, 02:58 AM
I found this too:

An acronym is often considered to be a type of abbreviation. Generally, if an abbreviation is pronounced as a word rather than as the letters individually, it is considered an acronym. Often the distinction isn't always made between acronyms and abbreviations, especially when the abbreviation is more widely known than what it stands for, such as "PVC" (polyvinyl chloride) and "ATM" (automated teller machine).

WildScribe
02-08-2007, 02:59 AM
The point is irrelevant, however. Why bother mentioning it at all? They will see the paperclip and attached SASE, and they will know what it's for. You're being redundant announcing that you have enclosed it. Show, don't tell, remember?



Paperclip? You guys use paperclips? OH NO!!!!! (Falls over dead) Maybe THAT'S why I get form rejections...

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 03:06 AM
Actually, the original definition (I might need an old dictionary to prove it, but I strongly suspect this is true) of acronym is a word made up of the initial letters of a series of words, such as laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

The definition of Acronym has expanded to include initialisms - a sequence of letters, not neccesarily pronouncable, made from the initial letters of a series of words. We now call everything acronyms. We've even got "acronyms" to keep our acronyms straight:
TLA: Three Letter Acronym
FLA: Four Letter Acronym

Back to a vs. an, I've often seen "a historical" and "an historical" though it seems like the last one should be "an istorical."

Glad to see someone else who knows what an initialism is. I keep arguing for initialisms, but I'm afraid almost no one distinguishes them from acronyms today, or knows the difference even though the rule is still followed to a large degree.

But the old rule was that anything that can be easily pronounced as a word should be used as a word. F.B.I is an used as an initialism because it does not form a readily pronounceable word. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is used as an acronym because it does form an easily pronounceable word.

For me, SASE definitely falls into the latter category. It's a very easy word to say, and most people I know use it as a word, rather than as an initialism.

scarletpeaches
02-08-2007, 03:09 AM
Well the reason for the SASE is Self Addressed Stamped Envelope where as yours would only be Self Addressed Envelope.

Actually no, speaking as someone from the UK I can say it means 'stamped, addressed envelope'. There's no need to say it's 'self-addressed'; that's obvious.

Provrb1810meggy
02-08-2007, 04:06 AM
Paperclip? You guys use paperclips? OH NO!!!!! (Falls over dead) Maybe THAT'S why I get form rejections...

Ha...I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that!

icerose
02-08-2007, 04:27 AM
Actually no, speaking as someone from the UK I can say it means 'stamped, addressed envelope'. There's no need to say it's 'self-addressed'; that's obvious.

I stand corrected. We Americans are all for stating the obvious. ;)

Chumplet
02-08-2007, 04:45 AM
Okay, so if the reader is looking at the initialism and thinking 'Self Addressed Stamped Envelope' you have to put an 'a' in front. If the reader is thinking 'ESS AYE ESS EEEE', you put an 'an' in front of it.

Since you don't know what the reader is thinking, do whatever the hell you want or just spell the damn thing out. You're not going to get rejected if you make a mistake. You will only get rejected if you say you enclosed it, and then you forget to include it. Or not, if you provided your email address. Possibly.

What I'm saying is there's a lot more important stuff to worry about.

scarletpeaches
02-08-2007, 04:47 AM
Why not just put, A self-addressed, stamped envelope? Spell it out, then you know you're correct in using 'a'.

ErylRavenwell
02-08-2007, 05:25 AM
This is very easy to decide. SASE is an acronym. An S.A.S.E sounds better so it's "an". That simple. No real rule to it.

aruna
02-08-2007, 10:00 AM
Grammar's always been a mess for me. I was raised in a home where proper grammar was spoken. So throughout school I would use my ear to tell me which was correct and which wasn't. Which led to me not being able to explain a bit of it, but still acing the courses, thus not learning anything.

I can do it, I can pass the classes, I can't explain a single bit of it.

That's me! I can't explain any grammar at all. I use my ear.

aruna
02-08-2007, 10:04 AM
Miss Snark uses "an SASE" I remembered her discussing it once and found that post:. Check here: http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/05/sorry-hes-right-youre-not.html


I've enjoyed reading Evil Editor for oh, 2 days, until today, where he queerly went off on a query letter because the writer said:

"I'm enclosing a SASE."

He sort of excoriated her for not saying, "AN" SASE. As in, AN elephant. AN espadrille.

I am mystified. "I'm enclosing a SASE", seems like pretty standard English to me. "An" SASE makes no sense to me, and when i tried to politely say so in that thread, he chose not to include my polite comments about it.

I'm not runnin to you boo-hoo. But he's no Miss Snark, is what i'm sayin'. It'd be nice to have an editor's side but this is just weird. I know you've a thousand things more important but..wtf?

Best to you, and KY.




What part of EVIL isn't clear?

And "an SASE" is correct. Say these out loud to see what I mean: "an herb garden, an evil editor, an essay, an SASE".

And it's his blog, he gets to chop whatever comments he wants, polite or not, just as I do.

She's not the last word, but I kind of agree with her; I also spell it out,
She's wrong about "an herb garden", thoug! It's "a herb garden."

J.S Greer
02-08-2007, 11:00 AM
"A" goes before all words that begin with consonants, with one exception: Use an before unsounded h.

"An" goes before all words that begin with vowels, with two exceptions: When u makes the same sound as the y in you, or o makes the same sound as w in won, then a is used.

A SASE. OR for those that feel its not a true word, A self adressed stamped envelope.

An not only sounds wrong, it's grammatically incorrect.

ErylRavenwell
02-08-2007, 12:11 PM
"A" goes before all words that begin with consonants, with one exception: Use an before unsounded h.

"An" goes before all words that begin with vowels, with two exceptions: When u makes the same sound as the y in you, or o makes the same sound as w in won, then a is used.

A SASE. OR for those that feel its not a true word, A self adressed stamped envelope.

An not only sounds wrong, it's grammatically incorrect.

The rule doesn't apply to acronyms. It's an SASE, because S sounds like ESS. Just like you write an FBI (EFF), but a UN organisation (sound like it starts with a Y).

alleycat
02-08-2007, 12:22 PM
I would use "a", at least in the US. I don't think I've ever heard someone actually say each letter (S-A-S-E), in which case "an" would sound better. They always say it as though "SASE" was a word, or actually say the whole thing, "self-addressed stamped envelope" -- so the "ESS sound" is never heard.

Another two-cents . . . we should have a dollar soon.

ErylRavenwell
02-08-2007, 12:30 PM
I would use "a", at least in the US. I don't think I've ever heard someone actually say each letter (S-A-S-E), in which case "an" would sound better. They always say it as though "SASE" was a word, or actually say the whole thing, "self-addressed stamped envelope" -- so the "ESS sound" is never heard.

Another two-cents . . . we should have a dollar soon.

Doesn't change the fact that SASE is an acronym.
If you write a SASE, I don't think one should consider this as a grave mistake. But you never know with all these bad-ass editors and agents.

You can solve the problem by not sending an SASE. :)

alleycat
02-08-2007, 12:39 PM
To me, the fact that it's an acronym is less important than how I would expect someone to read the "word", whether mentally or out loud. I'm not sure what is more common in other countries, but in the US, "an SASE" sounds and looks just plain odd to me.

I guess we can add this one to the long list of things for which there will never be a complete consensus. Now, should I use a prologue or not? Outline?

maestrowork
02-08-2007, 01:31 PM
She's not the last word, but I kind of agree with her; I also spell it out,
She's wrong about "an herb garden", thoug! It's "a herb garden."

Herb is pronounced as "Erb" not "Herb." So it begins with a vowel, thus the use of "an." The same with "hour" ("Our" instead of "Hour") and Hors d'oeuvre.

My suggestion is, if you say "sase," then use "a." If you say "ESS AYE ESS EE" then use "an." There's no need to obsess over it. I honestly don't know how people say it most of the time -- there's really no consensus, unlike NASA -- everyone says it as nasa, and not EN AYE ESS AYE.

aruna
02-08-2007, 02:14 PM
Herb is pronounced as "Erb" not "Herb." So it begins with a vowel, thus the use of "an." The same with "hour" ("Our" instead of "Hour") and Hors d'oeuvre.
.

Maybe in America. For me and most others I know, it is herb, with a sounded h. It's "A herb". You're right about hour and hors d'oevre, though. I know of the silent "h" version for herb; I was only protesting Miss Snark and others saying it is ALWAYS so.

benbradley
02-08-2007, 08:37 PM
Maybe in America. For me and most others I know, it is herb, with a sounded h. It's "A herb". You're right about hour and hors d'oevre, though. I know of the silent "h" version for herb; I was only protesting Miss Snark and others saying it is ALWAYS so.

If it's a type of plant, the h in herb isn't pronounced and it's "an herb" but if it's a proper name for a man, Herb, the H is pronounced. But it's rare to use an article with a proper name, such as "We need a Tom, an Adam and a Herb." I knew a Herbie in elementary school, and I admit "an herb" still doesn't look quite right to me.

Wikipedia, catering to both (all?) sides of the pond, gives both pronunciations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb

Now that I read that, my above silent-h pronunciation is for the USA. This appears to be yet another word to add to the list used by American/British translators.

Do Austrailians also have their own separate language too? Cricky!

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 08:58 PM
Doesn't change the fact that SASE is an acronym.
If you write a SASE, I don't think one should consider this as a grave mistake. But you never know with all these bad-ass editors and agents.

You can solve the problem by not sending an SASE. :)

No, but an acronym is not what you seem to think it is. Acronyms are words, and the grammar rules for words apply. Acronyms are not initialisms. Unless you're writing and saying S.A.S.E, as in F.B.I., an acronym is a word. When you eliminate the periods, you are not supposed to pronounce it as an initialism.

SASE is coincidentally one of the relatively few acronyms that begins in a way that makes people question the "a" versus "an."

But it's a word, not an initialism, and so the grammar rules for words apply.

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 09:00 PM
Doesn't change the fact that SASE is an acronym.
If you write a SASE, I don't think one should consider this as a grave mistake. But you never know with all these bad-ass editors and agents.

You can solve the problem by not sending an SASE. :)

I know editors and agents won't consider "a SASE" a grave mistake because this is the way nearly all the agents and editors I know write it, and say it, themselves.

Jamesaritchie
02-08-2007, 09:01 PM
Of course, it is possible to simply write "SASE enclosed." Brevity is usually the mark of a good writer.

CaroGirl
02-08-2007, 09:01 PM
Maybe in America. For me and most others I know, it is herb, with a sounded h. It's "A herb". You're right about hour and hors d'oevre, though. I know of the silent "h" version for herb; I was only protesting Miss Snark and others saying it is ALWAYS so.
We sound the "h" here too! "An herb" drives me bonkers. That's like saying, "Well, I'm off an 'ockey game!" NOT. (Unless you're French, they don't like the "h" sound either.)

swvaughn
02-08-2007, 10:30 PM
Miss Snark prefers "an SASE" :D

civilian chic
02-18-2007, 08:23 AM
It's "an SASE."

Pronunciation is what matters; its acronym status has no bearing. (Eg: You would say "an hourglass," not "a hourglass." "An HTML document" not "a HTML document.) It's all about pronunciation.