« Pumpkinalicious | Main | Read, Kiddo, Read! »

December 16, 2008



I use the second pronunciation for both, always have.

Debra Hamel

Without exception:

you-are-ell and fack


These are lofty issues but I will try to address them.
The first on both.


"A URL" and "a frequently asked question"
I am semi-old-fashioned.


You-are-ell (in my head I see the word as "Eurol") and (an) eff-ay-que.


You-are-ell and eff-ay-cue definitely.


I use "a you-are-ell" and, like Elena above, say "a frequently asked question."


Spell 'em both. Not enough nerd-friends to run around all 'I finally posted some facks about my earl!'


You-are-ell and eff-ay-cue.

Not that my life experience is all-encompassing or anything, but never in my life have I heard anyone turn those acronyms into words.

I'm not sure what to make of people turning FAQ into "fack," but if I were to hear someone say "earl" for URL, I would tend to think they were not very familiar with the Internet at all.


Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I took elementary English, I was taught that one used a with words that began with a consonant and an with words that began with a vowel. Apparently these rules changed sometime and one is supposed to always use an, which I try to do.


A URL and fack is how I've always said them.

Don Nunn

Always been a you-are-ell and a FACK to me.


To Elena and Kelly, I think of a(n) FAQ as a series of frequently asked questions, as in "Please read through our FAQ before emailing customer service." In other words, I think of it always standing for the plural, frequently asked questionS.


Generic Humanoid, the rules haven't changed -- in the case of an initialism, it depends whether the letter name begins with a vowel or consonant sound, so you'd have "an FBI agent" (because "eff" starts with a vowel sound) but "a CIA agent (because "see" starts with a consonant sound).

Kristin T.

I'm with how you usually do it, Karen:

a URL (you are elle)

an FAQ (eff ay cue)

(This is getting pretty funny, btw. Oh, and btw, when I speak that one, I always just say "by the way" because it has fewer syllables than "bee tee double you.")


You-are-ell and eff-ay-cue.


Upon greater deliberation, I think that FAQ can stand for a singular question and does not necessarily imply a series (although it usually refers to more than one).


You-R-El and Eff-Ai-Que. Always.


i'm a you-are-ell and fack girl myself. Though i have to say "fack" looks vaguely obscene when spelled out like that...


you-are-ell and fack. Probably because that's how I first heard them.


I believe the Chicago Manual of Style goes with "a URL" and "an FAQ." The article should "sound right" with the spoken TLA (three letter abbreviation).


"you-are-ell" and "eff-ay-cue". Since the "Q" in "FAQ" can be plural or singular (the "s" is part of the word, not separate), I heartily dislike it when I hear "eff-ay-cue-s", because that sounds like they have more than one list.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo


Search this blog!

Follow me!
Karen Potischman Wise's Facebook Profile