Is it "a NPC" or "an NPC"?

Is it "a NPC" or "an NPC"?

  • It's always "a NPC"

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • It's always "an NPC"

    Votes: 40 88.9%
  • It's "a" when writing, and "an" when speaking

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • I don't know (or don't want to tell...)

    Votes: 3 6.7%

  • Total voters
    45

Bex

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,871
Reaction score
701
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMZ



I learned something, letters which are spoken like a vowel also use an. Always thought "a npc" but you are right it is "an npc".
 

gstv87

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
2,953
Reaction score
2,016
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
many people use "NPC" to denote and speak the whole of "non-playable character", in which case, *a* "non-playable character" is correct, when spoken.
B U T !
given that we're on a written media, and the use of "NPC" (literal) should be meant as shorthand for "non-playable character" both explicit and implicit by context, having been the relationship between 'NPC' and 'non-playable character' established beforehand (such being the point of using the acronym!), any occurrences of 'NPC' should be read as the acronym itself: N, P, C.... and as such, be lead by 'an', as per English grammar rules.

source?
10 years of Spanish-speaking school side-teaching the fundamentals of English grammar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bex

ATT_Turan

Forewarner of the Black Wind
Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
7,086
Reaction score
4,895
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
By "rule of thumb" I meant "it's too complicated to actually care about so just do it this way."
I'm sorry, but nothing in the article you linked even implies there's a rule of proper grammar that states there is a distinct value that divides when you ought to type numerals versus words.

The closest it says to any actual rule is admitting that the various style guides (which, again, are for academic/technical writing) have different recommendations. The closest it says to what you originally claimed is "a simple rule...generally" - which means, as you first said, a rule of thumb, not officially.

There are many times when you would reference numbers over ten by typing them out and expect it to be comfortably read:
"I lent him twenty bucks,"
"Sarah turned forty-three last week,"
or
"There were over five thousand troops covering the plateau beneath him."

All of those cases have larger numbers that are very simply read, are perfectly grammatically correct, and almost any writing teacher would say it's better to stick with those words than to use numerals that might stick out at the reader. It's best to use numerals when the length or complexity of the number makes it confusing to read in words.


I thought it was "elfs" as well
I also thought Tolkien had invented both "elves" and "dwarves" spellings, so we both learned a thing!
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
23,219
Reaction score
12,820
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I think the main takeaway here is that the general English-speaking public doesn't actually know the rules of grammar
Curious how you got to that conclusion in only the sixth post
So you could have a character who says "a NPC".
Theoretically I suppose I could - but unless your whole game is about breaking the fourth wall, I cannot imagine a character referring to anyone in the game with the term NPC.

One aspect that has not been mentioned so far is that most of us are writing English for an international audience. That has to make a difference if we want to give at least a nod to intelligibility, so improving accessibility. So the grammar I use locally in speach might be the last thing I'd use in a game.

(Here is the bit where potentially I get myself hated.) I am acutely aware that many people stumble slightly (at least) over some UK expressions and usage. My impression is that many (note: many, not all) US devs just blithely assume that US vernacular is the universal norm and will be universally understood. That's simply not true. So I would argue that yes, while it is perfectly possible to write dialogue to reflect the speech patterns of the type of character, intelligibility has to remain top priority. And that sometimes means using correct grammar where perhaps in ordinary speech one wouldn't. (Though tbh, I can't imagine the roughest speaker saying 'a NPC'.)
 

Bex

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,871
Reaction score
701
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I forgot about the spoken vowel and everytime i typed "an NPC" in the Forums, i corrected it to
"a NPC". Atleast dozens of times XD.
Thanks for the Language lesson.

Edit: Allready said, but to repeat it again in other words: Quote:
A university” is the preferred term for the noun “university”, whereas “an university” is not grammatically correct.

“A university” is correct. English says that anytime a word starts with a vowel, it’s ‘an,’ but it’s really about sound. For example, “University” sounds like it starts with a Y. This makes it “A.” “Hour” sounds like it starts with an O, so it uses “An.” If you’re ever not sure, say it out loud really slowly to hear what the first sound is.
 

cchmaster

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
108
Reaction score
70
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Based on what I've learned in English class. N's pronunciation starts with a vowel, so "an" is used.
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm so baffled as to how this thread is still going :LZSlol::LZSlol::LZSlol:

It's a question with a definitive answer which has been given. What more is there to talk about?
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
7,068
Reaction score
10,000
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
N/A
It's a question with a definitive answer which has been given. What more is there to talk about?
Challenge accepted

----
Coming from a non-English native, here is my opinion.
Language is funny. But most importantly, it is used to communicate (duh).
In my workplace, we use a lot of abbreviations, sometimes even though we don't know what it stands for. We just know what we mean and what project we were referring to.

NPC stands for Non-player Character (or non-playable character, IDK). Whether or not you said it as "En-Pee-See" or the full word of it, we know what you were referring to. Need more examples? we have RTP. It already loses its meaning, but basically, we are referring to the default asset. It becomes a word of its own. And this is how a language develops.

I have learned Arabic and my own language. Whether or not we add N or changed it to a different letter, is basically whichever feels convenient in our mouth. In my opinion, it doesn't really give grammar information (whether it is singular/plural/past/present/future or other situations), so both should be correct. But if saying "En-Pee-See" is more common than saying the full word of it, then it should be "an".
 

123edc

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
236
Reaction score
170
First Language
german
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
your answer is your personal subjectivity iron,
we must come to a democratic vote of majority,
to finally solve these problem!
 

JohnDoeNews

Mod on Steam (MV/MZ)
Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,539
Reaction score
1,138
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Wow, so many replies. I am going to ignore the ones that are a direct reply to someone else, otherwise I'll still be writing this reply monday morning. :p

I get this, but it's really not an opinion thing :rswt It's just how the language works. Some things are just facts, no matter what people think of them, haha
Even when things just work the way they work, you can still have an opinion about them. :p Like the sky is grass is gree and the sky is blue. You can think it is pretty or you can think it would look better is the sky was red and grass was yellow.

I think your original post is a very good question! Maybe I'm inferring or projecting too much meaning into it, but I thought it came from a place of "hey native speakers: what sounds good to you?"

Why do I think it's important? Because I've played plenty of RPGMaker (and indie) games where I could tell that English was not their first language. And this is even when their grammar is perfect. This is because they go by the book but they have not spent the time to pick up all the weird, unexplained nuances this nonsense language has.

I certainly would hate to try and write something that is meant to be this beautiful thing only for my audience to be distracted and say, "Why did he say it like that?" because of some strange, built-in knowledge only a native-speaker would pick up on.

And, in case I wasn't making this clear, speaking with perfect grammar sounds awkward. It basically makes your characters into robots. This is literally a trope the sci-fi genre uses all the time.
True. I like to use easy English and avoid words that are hard to spell and replace them in my mind with easier alternatives. I don't use many hard words but the ones I use, I want those to be correct. That way I seem smarter than those who use expensive words wrong. :p




I learned something, letters which are spoken like a vowel also use an. Always thought "a npc" but you are right it is "an npc".

Yeah, I though that too. I always say "an NPC", but I used to write "a NPC". Funny thing, right?

many people use "NPC" to denote and speak the whole of "non-playable character", in which case, *a* "non-playable character" is correct, when spoken.
B U T !
given that we're on a written media, and the use of "NPC" (literal) should be meant as shorthand for "non-playable character" both explicit and implicit by context, having been the relationship between 'NPC' and 'non-playable character' established beforehand (such being the point of using the acronym!), any occurrences of 'NPC' should be read as the acronym itself: N, P, C.... and as such, be lead by 'an', as per English grammar rules.

source?
10 years of Spanish-speaking school side-teaching the fundamentals of English grammar.
If I understand you right, when you read "NPC", you say "non-playing character"? I don't think many people do that, though.

Would be funny if you were an FBI agent: "Freeze! Federal Bureau of Investigation!" Half the netflix series would suddenly be twice as long. :p

I forgot about the spoken vowel and everytime i typed "an NPC" in the Forums, i corrected it to
"a NPC". Atleast dozens of times XD.
Thanks for the Language lesson.
Same story. :)

Based on what I've learned in English class. N's pronunciation starts with a vowel, so "an" is used.
My last English class was more than half my life ago. :p Damn I'm old... :'(

I'm so baffled as to how this thread is still going :LZSlol::LZSlol::LZSlol:

It's a question with a definitive answer which has been given. What more is there to talk about?
Plenty! :p I told you it was a matter of opinion, even though no-one is denying that "an" is correct.

your answer is your personal subjectivity iron,
we must come to a democratic vote of majority,
to finally solve these problem!
Hmmm. I started the vote already, so who knows. :p But even if every American would vote, I can't make it official. Trump wouldn't listen to me cause I'm European and not a multi miljonair. Joe Biden doesn't listen to me because... Well, probably the same reason. I doubt either of them even believes my country is real and that it is not the fantasy land of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. :p

(Oh they probably do now... Since at this axact moment, we're busy kicking USA out of the world championship soccer. 2-0!! 2-0!!)
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Even when things just work the way they work, you can still have an opinion about them. :p Like the sky is grass is gree and the sky is blue. You can think it is pretty or you can think it would look better is the sky was red and grass was yellow.

I can think it'd be better that 2 + 2 not equal 4, but that doesn't change the reality that it does! There's no room for opinion with objective facts! :LZSlol: :LZSlol: :LZSlol:
 

M.I.A.

Goofball Extraordinaire
Veteran
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
900
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
English is funny. Also, English is stupid. There are always exceptions to the rules.. and sometimes exceptions to the exceptions that return back to the rules. :p

"Look! It's an npc." "Look! It's a non-playable character."
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
English is funny. Also, English is stupid. There are always exceptions to the rules.. and sometimes exceptions to the exceptions that return back to the rules. :p

"Look! It's an npc." "Look! It's a non-playable character."
But that's not an exception! Sound it out!

"Look it's an ENN PEE CEE"

"Look it's a NNON playable character"

Aaaaaaaaaaa it's about what your mouth is doing with vowels versus consonants, and you then emulate that in written text!
 

JohnDoeNews

Mod on Steam (MV/MZ)
Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,539
Reaction score
1,138
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I can think it'd be better that 2 + 2 not equal 4, but that doesn't change the reality that it does! There's no room for opinion with objective facts! :LZSlol: :LZSlol: :LZSlol:
No-one says that "an" isn't correct. No-one denies it. But we can still have an opinion about it.

"an" is the correct spelling, that is a fact.
I think that is confusing and surprising, that is my opinion about that fact.

"2+2=4" that is a fact
That is easy and a clear example, that is my opinion about that fact.

I can have an opinion about 2+2 without denying the outcome being 4.

You see how it is perfectly possible to have an opinion (and therefor a discussion) about given absolute facts?
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
No-one says that "an" isn't correct. No-one denies it. But we can still have an opinion about it.

"an" is the correct spelling, that is a fact.
I think that is confusing and surprising, that is my opinion about that fact.

"2+2=4" that is a fact
That is easy and a clear example, that is my opinion about that fact.

I can have an opinion about 2+2 without denying the outcome being 4.

You see how it is perfectly possible to have an opinion (and therefor a discussion) about given absolute facts?

But what is the value of an opinion in direct opposition of fact? Like, I get that you think it's confusing and surprising, but what does that do? This is why I'm baffled by the thread mate, I'm not trying to be a dick, I just don't get it haha

Edit: I get that commenting on the fact that it's 'an' isn't the same as saying something counter to fact, I just don't get how it's a discussion, I guess
 

JohnDoeNews

Mod on Steam (MV/MZ)
Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,539
Reaction score
1,138
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Well, the value is to compare my experience about that with other people their experiences to see if my point of view matches others. Also it is sometimes nice to have something unimportant to debate, other than war, politics and religion.
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Well, the value is to compare my experience about that with other people their experiences to see if my point of view matches others. Also it is sometimes nice to have something unimportant to debate, other than war, politics and religion.

I think this is where I'm confused. There's no debate here, there's a right answer and a wrong answer, so there's surely nothing to discuss?

Anyway, I've said my piece. Have a good weekend :D
 

123edc

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
236
Reaction score
170
First Language
german
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
"2+2=4" that is a fact
actually, it's not a fact,
it's a definition

12 + 5 = 5 ;)
14 + 4 = 6 ;)
 
Last edited:

gstv87

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
2,953
Reaction score
2,016
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
If I understand you right, when you read "NPC", you say "non-playing character"?
some people do, yes.
people accustomed to pure shorthand would write scribbles and speak the full text back out.
 

woootbm

Super Sand Legend
Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
384
Reaction score
353
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The closest it says to any actual rule is admitting that the various style guides (which, again, are for academic/technical writing) have different recommendations. The closest it says to what you originally claimed is "a simple rule...generally" - which means, as you first said, a rule of thumb, not officially.
Hm, I see what you're saying. I've always been taught this, and it's what's used in academic/technical writing... so that kinda translates to me that it's "grammatically correct." After all, who actually cares about super specific grammar rules besides academic/technical writing?

Whatever. I'll call it "strong rule of thumb" or something, heh. It's a pretty good guideline. I can only imagine writing the word out like that if you want to be specific with how a character speaks? Numbers get very long and are both tedious to read and write.
Curious how you got to that conclusion in only the sixth post
Admittedly a hot take, yeah. It's been something I've been thinking about for a long time.
Theoretically I suppose I could - but unless your whole game is about breaking the fourth wall, I cannot imagine a character referring to anyone in the game with the term NPC.
Well, that was the original question. You can replace NPC with any acronym that poses the same problem.
I am acutely aware that many people stumble slightly (at least) over some UK expressions and usage. My impression is that many (note: many, not all) US devs just blithely assume that US vernacular is the universal norm and will be universally understood.
It could be vanity, sure. I think most people just write in dialects they are familiar with? Unless they're doing some trope like, "Oh this takes place a long time ago. Better have them sound Shakespearean!"

I think I'm still in the mindset that American dev's and TV/movies are so prominent and generally make stuff for Americans. We just force our stuff on everyone else. It's a bit of a stranglehold on global culture at this point.
I can think it'd be better that 2 + 2 not equal 4, but that doesn't change the reality that it does! There's no room for opinion with objective facts! :LZSlol: :LZSlol: :LZSlol:
Doon not bryng math ynto this! Two and two hath always byen equal to four. Language ys as ever changyng as the sea.

Okay, I actually don't know crap about Middle English , sorry :hswt: Just wanted an extreme example of how language is always evolving. There are hundreds of languages each with hundreds of dialects out there. Clearly, we humans have not decided on one clear way of communicating.

Sometimes a seemingly simple question will prompt a philosophical discussion! If you want to be a writer, this is the rabbit hole you must fall down. You can't just learn grammar rules and call it a day. Language presents us with infinite possibilities for artistic expression, holmes.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

All the artists on here always share their art, and I wanted to partake in the sharing. I wanted to show off the album art for my game's soundtrack while also showing off this song. I wanted to take a break from all the pianos/strings/jazz. I experimented with some side-chaining techniques to modulate the dub-step like synth.
Crazy idea to help people be more productive. We all upload a photo of someone who is good at nagging, cajoling, guilting, etc. you into doing what you should be doing. Then, after you have posted X amount of times in a defined period, that photo pops up with the text of "Shouldn't you be working on your game?" Just for fun.:wink:
Avery wrote on MouseWorks's profile.
That is a really cute avatar concept that you have there! I like it :3
Well, here's a screenshot of just another game that might never be completed...

quicktrip_xp01.jpg
Fake FullScreen (Download):

Forum statistics

Threads
128,509
Messages
1,195,111
Members
169,083
Latest member
riluohuangsha
Top