How to Appraise an Antique or Collectable

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Reader Comments (66)

I got the "an collectible" joke, because I figured Jenkins is a moron and Scott is not.

Actually the mistaken use of "an" by otherwise intelligent people bugs the crap out of me. I refuse to say "an historic", because unless you have a (not an) horrendous Cockney accent, the H is not silent. There are some grammarians who would say a hard-H word with three or more syllables is okay to put "an" in front of, but those people are wrong.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

Well I got the Jenkins-sounding-fancy joke.
Poor Scott;
Copy/Paste explanation, Copy/Paste explanation, Copy/Paste...

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEaglesQuestions

Reminds me of Sara's classic entrance in Brandon Bolt's 'Nobody Scores':

Sara: Heads up mooches! I have acquired a good of ostentation!

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B

Funny, whenever I say "an collectible" I just sound like an moron.

(h/t to Eddie Pepitone)

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

If you're keeping track...

1st: a few comments on grammar (only ONE of which seems to completely miss the joke)
2nd: redundant comments from Scott on the fairly obvious joke
3rd: one person nails the origin of the joke (scary)
4th: redundant meta-comments

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Is "an..." nevermind.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

I loved the "an collectible" - Jenkins' pomposity scales new heights.

And Lummox JR - the use of "an" rather than "a" with some nouns/adjectives beginning with "h" is archaic and is a relic of their french origins (and "horrendous" is one of them). It is just that now we sound that first aspirant, making the "n" sound redundant. (Sometimes - in America, for instance, "herbs" are pronounced "erbs". We Limeys say it properly . . . )

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

I say, looks like someone's been watching "Storage Wars"!

Note from Scott: Correct, that and American Pickers. The two funniest things on those shows are when an expert simply describes the object then says "the right collector might pay ..." and when the Pickers find something on a pile of junk out in the elements, covered with mud, ask about buying it, and are told "I dunno, I'm kinda attached to that."

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEsn

Jenkins' naivete in saying "an collectable" is *almost* an endearing characteristic. I think, even though he is a bit of a doofus, he would be a fun friend to have.

I guessed the M*A*S*H reference as a possibility when I initially read the comic, but I have to admit that to me anyhow, that M*A*S*H episode always sort of bugged me because I think that TECHNICALLY, "an harmonica" is OK to use because the "h" sound is often very subtle and the more predominant initial sound of that word is the vowel sound of the "a". I strangely sometimes felt sorry for Charles when Hawkeye said the "an harmonica" stick.

Your comics always bring enjoyment!! Thank you!


April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPipeTobacco

You do realize than "an harmonica" is grammatically correct, don't you?

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeith

I love the appraisal face

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShark

See, the problem here is that the comments are moderated and thus don't appear immediately after being submitted. I thought I was being witty when it looked like I was the 5th person to comment, but looking back the day after posting my comment appears quite a lot further down the list, making me look like a doody-head. This is the reason why so many people point out the obvious, and the only solution to the problem is for Scott to sit in front of his computer 24 hours a day instantly monitoring and approving comments.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

DUDE! You misspelled 'collectible'!

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian McInnis

"Note from Scott: "An collectible is deliberate. Jenkins is trying to sound fancy."


April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBoltBait

even thought reading "an collectible" felt like I was falling upstairs, I knew you would hear from an grammer nazi or two.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

In a unrelated note, I just bought the last copy of "Curse of the Masking Tape Mummy: Basic Instructions" from Amazon.

(If it bothers anyone, you can add Jenkins extra "n" in the sentence above.)

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikeS

No Quebecois pointing out that Jenkins could be trying for "Une Collectable"? Phhht!

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

I read "an collectible" and thought "that sounds just like that wayne kerr I work with".

He came back from Spain with a vile pink china horse with a "real nylon horse-hair mane" and showed it off. I will never forget (sadly) him saying: "One day, this will be une collectibilo."

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimes

My calculus professor wrote "an positive integer" on the board yesterday and I burst out laughing in the middle of class because I thought of this comic.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdanny

This comic is an collectable! Look at an copyright date -- it is an vintage year!

Seriously, I thought you had originally written "an antique" then decided to change antique to collectable and forgot to change an to a. My creative writing students used to do incomplete revisions like that -- I've sometimes done it myself. It's a good comic anyway.

Maybe next time Jenkins wants to sound fancy he could try pidgin French. Viola! Le collectable!

In the meantime I'm going to call everything "an thing" all day today and see what happens....

-Cougar :{)

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCougar Allen

Funnily enough, Paddy, I was thinking of Eddie Izzard's line about "herb" vs. "erb" when writing about my annoyance with putting the "an" in front of words like "historic".

However, archaic might be putting it a bit mildly; proto-archaic is more like it. I suspect you'd have to go pretty far back to find a time when not pronouncing the H in "historic" was common in most dialects. So "an historic" has been incorrect in written English for a long time now, and in spoken English (when not using a wonky dialect) it's always wrong.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

What I appreciate most about this one is the "Pawn Stars" -esque subtext running throughout it. "What can you tell me about my collectible shot glass" is right out of one of those types of shows.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesper

Repeat! 'Collectable' is NOT a word!

Missy here, and I'm going to gently disagree. At least to the extent that the version with an A appears to be a widely-enough accepted variant, that either way can be used as a noun. Now if you want to get together and bash on "alright", I'm game.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian McInnis

Don't worry, Scott, some of us got your "an" joke. :) Heed not the grammar Nazis!

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuli

Is the use of "an collectible" a deliberate choice, to make Jenkins sound like he's trying to be fancy?

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbasiclaugh


December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian McInnis
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