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Apologies for the english question, but I believe this forum will be better suited for answering my question.

I am trying to decide whether I should use A MILP or An MILP, as I have seen both cases in the literature, with "A MILP" being more prevalent. As I understood it, from the English stack exchange, if we pronnounce it letter by letter, M-I-L-P, then one should use An. But if one pronounces it as a single word, MILP, then A MILP should be used.

I am not a native a native english user, and I don't know if there is a definite right answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think MILP is only an abbreviation I would use in writing. If I were to give a talk, I could write MILP on the slides, but I would still say "mixed-integer linear program" or "mixed-integer linear problem" out loud. $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Dec 13, 2022 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because If you had asked on the correct site: english.stackexchange.com/a/1017/246019 that would be the duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Dec 13, 2022 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Rob , I don't think the question should be closed. As I mentioned in my post, I saw that post, and it wouldn't answer my question. My question is how to pronounce MILP, to then decide if I should use A or An. In the english stack exchange, they would most likely not know how to pronounce MILP, because they don't know what it is. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ or.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic --- English.SE is really a better place for this type of question. It would be no different if it was physics, quantum computing, or space. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Dec 14, 2022 at 10:39

2 Answers 2

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I suggest "A MILP", in which MILP is pronounced as a word sounding like "milK', except with a "P" rather than "k' as the end.

"An MILP" would be appropriate if each letter were being sounded out separately. I.e., An "M" "I" "L" "P". In this case, "An" is needed rather than "A" because the letter "M" is sounded out as "Emm", which begins with a vowel sound, hence requiring "an" rather than "a" to proceed it.

I don't believe "An MILP" is commonly used, at least in the United States, because the individual letters of MILP are not usually sounded out.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! And what about MINLP? Do you know if it's pronounced as MILP with a "nuh" sound in the middle? $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2022 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ MINLP is a many times less common term than MILP. I think the most common "pronunciation" of MINLP is "MIN" "L" "P", for which "A MINLP" would be appropriate. Perhaps some people say "M" "I" "N" "L" "P", for which "An MINLP" would be appropriate",. Not many people have even heard of MINLP, let alone pronounce it or understand its characteristics or how to solve a MINLP problem. By examining my previous sentence, you can deduce which pronunciation camp I fall in. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2022 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ Special cases of MINLP are "an MISOCP and an MISDP", "M" "I" "S" "O" "C" "P" and "M" "I" "S" "D" "P". Similarly with MIQP and MIQCQP. And the MISQP algorithm. $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2022 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ That's very interesting, Mark, it seems that there is no obvious rule to decide which one it is. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's based on what is easy (in (American) English) to say. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 13:32
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Generally people say Mixed Integer model. here LP is like obvious, unless they need to mention like Nonlinear model or Quadratically constrained model.

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