After completing a crossword in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, I turned to the page with a review of your new book.. The book review at the top of this page is titled 'A N.J. town fights cancer." Excuse me, but shouldn't it read "An N.J. Town ..."?--Naomi Sussman
It's a great question. Not that the editors necessarily had this in mind, but I think the idea is how you imagine someone reading the headline aloud. That is, the whole a/an distinction is based on sound, not letters--we write "a unique" and "an unusual." So the logic goes, if someone were reciting the headline, would he or she say (after the first word) "Enn Jay town fights cancer" or "New Jersey town fights cancer"? I guess on some level the editors thought it was the latter. I would probably go the other way, but I see their logic.