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Why is it spelled...?

Is it correct to say "I bought an HP computer" or "I bought a HP computer"? Some say <an>, and some say <a>.
Choosing between the articles a and an depends on the sound immediately following the article, not on the letter. The general usage is that if the following sound is a vowel, we choose an; if it is a consonant, we choose a. When we pronounce "a HP" or "an HP", even though there is a consonant letter right after the article, there is a vowel sound. This is because we don't really pronounce "HP": we spell it out, using the alphabet names aitch pee. If we were to expand the abbreviation to "Hewlett-Packard" and pronounce it, then there would be a consonant sound following the article: the [h]. So it would be "a Hewlett-Packard" but "an HP." In their Modern English Usage H. W. Fowler and Sir Ernest Gowers say it this way: "Before letters standing for abbreviations or symbols the choice is usually determined by the sound of the letter, not the word it represents . . . but that is the sort of thing about which we ought to be allowed to do as we please, so long as we are consistent." Coming from such a traditionalist and conservative source, the last statement is almost bleeding-heart liberalism.
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cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader