I'd like to ask a technology-based linguistics question, but I don't know where to ask it.

Which is grammatically correct? 'a .exe file' or 'an .exe file'?

Would this fall under English Language Learners, Linguistics, Super User, or somewhere else?

  • 1
    Just FYI, this general question has been already answered on ELU and ELL. – Catija Mar 9 '17 at 18:33
  • @Catija I'm not asking due to the pronunciation of "exe". I'm asking because I'm not sure if you read the phrase as "an e-x-e" or "a (dot) e-x-e" – Stevoisiak Mar 9 '17 at 18:52
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    That's not clear from your example as the only difference is a vs an. Most people I know don't pronounce the dot but there's no one answer to that... you pick a or an based on your choice of pronunciation in that case. – Catija Mar 9 '17 at 19:00

It's a question about grammar. It doesn't matter if it mentions executable files, rockets, pets, or marshmallows.

So it's either English Language Learners or English Language & Usage, depending on the level.

It would be off-topic on Super User, since it's not related to a software/hardware issue.

Linguistics is more about language theory in general, not about specific English grammar questions.

  • To be a bit of a nitpick, it's not that much about grammar, but pronunciation. If I'm not mistaken, that is. – It's Over Mar 9 '17 at 17:58
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    @M.A.R. it's about choosing between "a" and "an" - it's a grammatical rule that depends on the end pronunciation of the word rather than on whether it starts with a consonant or a vowel. It's only a pronunciation question because the written grammar depends on pronunciation. – Catija Mar 9 '17 at 18:34
  • I can decide whether you meant that this is about syntax, or that it is about morphology. Whichever of the two you meant, I'm having trouble seeing it. – tchrist Mar 17 '17 at 0:21

Turns out that my specific question has already been answered on English Language & Usage.

See "An .exe or a .exe"

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