On Monday, Inman published 10 real estate predictions headlined “A NAR name change, retirements and a big IPO: My 2020 predictions,” by Brad Inman.

The headline was written by an editor, but shortly thereafter another editor at Inman raised a prickly grammatical question that has since rippled across our comment section: Is it “A NAR name change, retirements and a big IPO: My 2020 predictions,” or, rather, “An NAR name change, retirements and a big IPO: My 2020 predictions”?

In the end, we changed our headline to “An NAR name change, retirements and a big IPO: My 2020 predictions.” However, across Inman’s editorial department, not to mention its comment section and Facebook page, the dispute is far from resolved.

The question is easier to answer when talking about the indefinite article placed near a word like “historic.” That’s because, with a few exceptions, there’s only one way to pronounce that word, “historic.” In that case, many linguists agree that “an historic” is the way to go, citing that the article depends on the “sound” of the word it precedes, regardless if that word begins with a vowel.

Where it becomes more difficult is an acronym like “NAR,” which is shorthand, as you know, for the National Association of Realtors. Some pronounce that acronym as a word of its own: “NAR.” Others spell it out: “N-A-R.”

Because there’s really no way to know how the majority of the trade organization’s nearly 1.4 million members pronounce the acronym, we thought we’d ask you directly: “NAR” or “N-A-R?”

 

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