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Thread: A SS or an SS?

  1. #1
    Clyde on a mission!
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    A SS or an SS?

    Just looking at the title I wonder if it gets censored..

    We all love to ride our single speed bikes and writing about them on this very forum, but writing about them can be a bit tricky when it comes to the english language.

    I'm not a native english speaker, but I know the basic rule about a and an: an apple because apple starts with a vowel, a bike because bike starts with a consonant, an hour because the h is silent so the word starts with a vowel sound, easy peasy.

    Naturally it's also called a single speed bike because single starts with a consonant sound, but what about when we are using the abbreviated SS?

    If you hear "single speed" when you see SS it should be a SS, but if you hear "es-es" it should be an SS to match the vowel sound in "es".

    ...and yeah, it's sunday, it's raining, I can't ride and I'm bored..

  2. #2
    one chain loop
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    An SS. No need for poll.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  3. #3
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    i ride a SS, but i'm a horrible speller. i'm lucky if i get my name right most days.

    and yes you should just go ride your bike. builds character.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  4. #4
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    a SS, for two reasons:

    1. You don't ever say the "SS," you only write it. So since you're saying "a singlespeed" it has to be "a". Conversely it's "an EBB because most people actually say the letters versus "eccentric bottom bracket."
    2. "A SS" makes "ass" which is funny.

  5. #5
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    Sorry, who rides a single speed? My new bike after not having a bike has like 30'speeds.


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  6. #6
    Armature speller
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Canches View Post
    Sorry, who rides a single speed? My new bike after not having a bike has like 30'speeds.
    30 foot speeds?

  7. #7
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    A or an depends on how it's pronounced. That's why hour and honor get "an", and SS is "an ess-ess".

    Even if you never actually say "ess-ess", I think it should be written with the appropriate article. Many abbreviations are read out loud just as the letters. If you read a text and it says "an SS" and you decide to say "singlespeed", I don't think switching to "a" on the fly is a problem.

    Write "an SS", say "a singlespeed".

  8. #8
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    I'm changing my mind. i ride a one speed.

    and done.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENKD29 View Post
    I'm changing my mind. i ride a one speed.

    and done.
    Technically, you should be writing "an one speed" and speaking "a one speed." Or change the spelling of "one" to "won." As in, "I ride a won speed." This solution is not without it's own problems.

    Another solution; "Me paseo una sola velocidad"
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  10. #10
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    I ride an ass ass, but YMMV.
    Ride more!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. 68 Hundred View Post
    Technically, you should be writing "an one speed" and speaking "a one speed."
    Nope. Doesn't matter what the first written letter of a word is.

    An hour.
    A one-speed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Nope. Doesn't matter what the first written letter of a word is.
    Despite my best intentions, clearly what I wrote wasn't funny. But shirley, you could see that I wasn't being serious.
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  13. #13
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    I like to say "I ride the SS" to avoid all confusion. Sometimes, when that doesn't work, I just combine the two so I know I'm getting it at least partially right; "I ride a an SS." If that fails, I grunt something like, "me pedal hardest, fasterest. me forward go. no gears."

  14. #14
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    Why is it Negra Modello instead of Negro Modello?

  15. #15
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    Sand...

    Apparently, it's becoming socially acceptable to be grammatically incorrect.

    As in "data is", "agenda is", etc. are used as singular nouns when they are plural (datum and agendum are singular usage). This is how language (de)evolves.

    "An SS" is grammatically correct because SS is an abbreviation for singlespeed. But, to so you risk appearing eggheadedness.

    It's your choice because it matters little, especially here.

  16. #16
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
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    Since you wouldn't say, "I ride an singlespeed bike", then the correct way to say it as an abbreviation, is A SS, not an SS. It's pretty simple, actually.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Very cool. Thanks
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  19. #19
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    We don't need no stinking articles. Just ride SS.


    P.S. @chuckha62:

    No more rhymes, I mean it!
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    'Tis better to bail and not to hurt, than not to bail and eat much dirt!
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