An, as an article, comes from the Old English word an (pronounced ane, I think), which means one. Old English, however, didn't use indefinite articles; they only used an to specify one. Why, do you suppose, we have indefinite articles at all? You don't need them, really. Is the sentence I want apple less clear than I want an apple? If you wanted more than one apple, you would say apples, and if you wanted a specific apple, you'd say the apple or that apple. According to Wikipedia, linguists believe that the Proto Indo-European language (great grandparent of languages as varied as English, Greek, and Sanskrit, Hindi, and many others) did NOT use articles - definite or otherwise, nor did many of its immediate descendants (Latin, Persian, and Sanskrit, for example). Yet this quirk of language isn't just one of the many inane qualities of the English language - many languages use articles, and many languages' indefinite articles descend from some word that once meant one.
I've talked about Indo-European before, because years and years after learning about it, it still fries my noodle. Finding out English and Hindi are related felt like me finding out that I was related to Samuel L. Jackson.
|...and a spigot. Because I think myself deep and artistic.|