You can define your own say phrases for this purpose:
To say the shortname of (item - object): say “the [shortname of item]”.
To say a shortname of (item - object):
let txt be indexed text;
let txt be the shortname of item;
if character number 1 in txt matches the regular expression “”, say "an ";
otherwise say "a ";
say shortname of item.
[/code](Note that the last phrase will go wrong in cases like “an hourglass” and “a Union Jack”. It just checks whether the first letter is a vowel or not.)