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a

A is so short, just one character, that you’d almost lose it in a sentence. And, unlike the only other legitimate one-letter word, I, a is unpretentious. In contrast to that first-person personal pronoun, I, a doesn’t insist on being capitalized and it isn’t the least bit narcissistic.

Yet, for such a short and unassuming word, a is incredibly useful. For starters, its use as an indefinite article is greatly underrated. Consider for example that without the word a, I’d be jerk.

That’s ridiculous. Nobody has ever tried to cook me Jamaican style and serve me for dinner. And if anyone did try to do that, they’d only be able to do it once. Then I’d cease to exist as a person and start to exist as a bowel movement.

My nonexistence might be a welcome thought for some of my acquaintances and deal friends, but jerk cooking was obviously not what I meant by that sentence. If, on the other hand, I say I’m a jerk you know exactly what I mean.

Beyond its use as an indefinite article (is it just me or does “indefinite article” sound like a game piece in a virtual reality game?), a does yeoman’s service. You can, for example, use it to number bullet points. True, it often serves a subsidiary role to a number, 1.a, for example, but it does so with dignity.

In addition, my dictionary tells me that, in Britain, when capitalized, A signifies that a film film is suitable for all ages, but parents might want to accompany their kiddies under 14 to films rated A so the kiddies can explain to the parents what all of the foul street vernacular means. That having been said, in Britain, A would be capitalised rather than capitalized, but that’s another story for another time.

A: It’s a little word, but it’s number one nonetheless.

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