An excerpt from Java for Dummies, 6th Edition:
If you already know what kind of an animal Java is and know that you want to use Java, skip Chapter 1 and go straight to Chapter 2. Believe me, I won’t mind.
Is it grammatically correct to say what kind of an animal instead of what kind of animal which, as far as I know, should be the only correct way to say it? You see, I always thought that this type of construction was never supposed to be used with articles, even thought I had heard that colloquially English speakers sometimes do say it like that, slipping in an article here and there. And the example that I'm posting here is from a textbook on Java programming. Therefore, you would think that the grammar should really be tip-top, but, as you can see for yourselves, it's obviously not. So, what do you guys make of it? And if there's a method to the madness as to when we use one or the other that you may have heard of, please feel free to share it with me and other English learners.
Let's suppose that the writer had instead written this:
If you already know what kind of animal Java is and know that you want to use Java, skip Chapter 1 and go straight to Chapter 2. Believe me, I won’t mind.
How would the meaning be different?