"An" vs "A" with acronym that can be said with or without vowel pronunciation


I know this is a confusing subject title, but I was wondering if the rule for "using "A" before a consonant and "An" before a word that starts with a vowel (and is pronounced with one) is ALWAYS the case. My example is for my company outside of D.C. I work for a company that has the acronym AAAE (rarely pronounced A.A.A.E.). I'd say that 95%+ of our members and 100% of our staff pronounce the company like "Triple A E". When writing, I am often conflicted with typing "If you need assistance, a AAAE staff member will be with you shortly" and "If you need assistance, an AAAE staff member will be with you shortly."


What are your suggestions? 

an a grammar asked Jul 07 '14 at 19:11 Scott Boeser New member

1 answer


I would go with what 95 - 100% of your readers will hear in their heads when they read it.  If any one of the other 5% are bothered by it enough to complain, someone can tell them that most people say Triple A E.  An alternative is to reword the sentence to avoid the problem - one of our AAAE staff embers will be with you shortly. 

link comment answered Jul 08 '14 at 10:30 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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