Furious pedants have been using unparliamentary language on each other over what they see as a life-or-death struggle over the form of indefinite article to be used before words beginning with an 'h'. One correspondent asserts that "an hotel is correct because the word is French and you are not supposed to pronouce the h but rather say an 'otel".
Turning to the very first page of Fowler's I immediately found that 'an' which I have always called the indefinite article, is known to grammarians as a central determiner. Which would be a great fact to use at a cocktail party, were I ever to be invited to one.
But on the use of a/an before h-words in which the first syllable is unstressed Fowler, having admitted that opinion is divided, says:
The thoroughly modern thing to do is to use 'a' (never 'an') with an aspirated 'h' (eg, a historical) but not to demur if others use 'an' with minimal or nil aspiration given to the following 'h' (eg, an historic).
However, it seems that the use of "an hotel" is now old-fashioned. The bottom line, according to Fowler's, is "the choice of form remains open".
So much for pedantry.