Hairy Scot

Joined: January 31, 2011

Number of comments posted: 492

Number of votes received: 331

Expat Scot now living in NZ. Home town was Greenock. Achieved SCE(H) levels in a number of subjects. Was employed by a multi-national company so spent a fair bit of time in other parts of Europe. Moved to South Africa in 1981 and then to NZ in 2007.

Questions Submitted

“Thanks for that”

“Rack” or “Wrack”?

3 Laning?

“Watching on”?

Alternate Prepositions?


“admits to”

Pronunciation of “gill”

“You have two choices”


Horizontal Stripes?

in that regard

“deal to”

Preferred forms

intend on doing?

“in regards to”

“it caught on fire”

“Liquid water”?

“get in contact”

“As per ....”?

-age words


Stood down


Recent Comments

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  July 18, 2015, 7:19pm  •  0 vote

Does the sentence refer to one child or two children?

Re: “It is what it is”  •  July 14, 2015, 10:24pm  •  0 vote

"It is what it is" surely ranks alongside "do the math" as one of the most nonsensical phrases ever coined.

Re: “I’ve lived many years in Kentucky.”  •  July 13, 2015, 6:02pm  •  0 vote

Despite being an inveterate pedant I have no issues with that format.

Re: “hand”  •  July 8, 2015, 6:13am  •  0 vote

Perhaps the passenger was a refugee from George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice"? :-))

Re: As wet as ?  •  June 21, 2015, 8:12pm  •  1 vote

As wet as a shag on a rock. As wet as the end of a burrito. As wet as Jacques Cousteau. As wet as they come.

Re: Assist in or assist with  •  June 7, 2015, 6:29pm  •  0 vote

I'd say that the use of "with" with verbs like assist, speak, meet, is probably more common in the USA than in other English speaking countries.

Re: “Can I get” vs. “May I have”  •  May 7, 2015, 9:36pm  •  2 votes

@Mick Carlton HEAR HEAR!!!!

Re: Capitalizing After the Colon  •  April 21, 2015, 4:37pm  •  0 vote

@WW I have submitted a couple of items during the past month but as yet they have not been published. Perhaps Dyske is unwell or on vacation?

Re: Capitalizing After the Colon  •  April 19, 2015, 7:08pm  •  0 vote

Is PITE losing its appeal? 1) No new topics are being published. Although some have been submitted. 2) New comments are few and far between.

Re: Littler  •  April 12, 2015, 5:48pm  •  0 vote

Littler is the surname of a famous golfer. I've never heard it used in any other context.

Re: Opposition to “pretty”  •  March 20, 2015, 8:46pm  •  1 vote

I see nothing wrong in the use of pretty as an adverb, although certain combinations could be amusing:- "She's really pretty ugly." "That's pretty bad." I'm sure there are more.

Re: attorneys general vs. attorney generals  •  March 9, 2015, 7:08pm  •  0 vote

@WW See my comments in the thread on was/were. :)

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  March 9, 2015, 7:05pm  •  0 vote

Hi WW, Point taken. I must say that in addition to respect for your knowledge I am impressed by your patience. Were I to once more involve myself in this discussion I might well grow tired of cas

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  March 8, 2015, 6:01pm  •  0 vote

I thought this one had been put to bed some time ago.

Re: attorneys general vs. attorney generals  •  March 8, 2015, 6:00pm  •  0 vote

@Nick D Of course you can use it. However the unfortunate fact is that common usage does not always mean correct usage. :-))

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  March 4, 2015, 4:05pm  •  0 vote

Dunno if this is totally relevant, but I have seen and heard phrases like "an empty bottle of wine" used instead of the more (in my view) logical "empty wine bottle".

Re: What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?  •  February 26, 2015, 4:11pm  •  0 vote

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 26, 2015, 4:09pm  •  1 vote

@WW Once again I must compliment you on a detailed and interesting post. :-))

Re: Why do sports teams take a definite article?  •  February 23, 2015, 8:26pm  •  0 vote

Nice response Will. :)

Re: “Rack” or “Wrack”?  •  January 4, 2015, 1:30am  •  0 vote

Just an after thought:- In the case of "----- and ruin" I am more attracted to the idea that "wrack" may be the more apt choice given its near similarity to "wreck" and indeed its original root.

Re: “Rack” or “Wrack”?  •  January 3, 2015, 4:27pm  •  0 vote

@WW The article I read was in fact that by Michael Quinlon which appeared on World Wide Words..

Re: “Thank you for reverting to us”  •  January 2, 2015, 3:39pm  •  0 vote

It certainly does seem rather stilted, and the addition of "back" makes it even worse.

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 29, 2014, 6:48pm  •  0 vote

Attacking or criticising the person rather than the opinion or position seems to be something that is very much in vogue on internet forums (or fora if you prefer it). I have encountered it on a numb

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 29, 2014, 6:41pm  •  0 vote

@WW One swallow does not a summer make, nor yet a meal. ;)

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 26, 2014, 2:05pm  •  0 vote

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 12, 2014, 5:24pm  •  1 vote

@jayles the unwoven Aren't deviations very common in France. ;)

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 9, 2014, 5:32pm  •  0 vote

Thanks for the info Will. I admire your dedication to research. Perhaps I'm getting more pernickety as I age, but 3-laning just strikes me as odd. "Road improvement" or "lane upgrades" would

Re: “Anglish”  •  November 24, 2014, 8:18pm  •  0 vote

@jayles the unwoven Not sure how all that fits in to "grey areas of the English language". Eschewing words derived from Latin and the romance languages seem to me to be a rather pointless exerci

Re: “Anglish”  •  November 23, 2014, 5:19pm  •  0 vote

Why is this thread here? There is a whole forum devoted to Anglish.

Re: Why so many different spellings for some Arabic terms?  •  October 19, 2014, 5:25pm  •  0 vote

Thanks Will. ;)

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 8, 2014, 7:58pm  •  0 vote

What about although?

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  August 1, 2014, 10:18pm  •  0 vote

@WW On a lighter note; if it were not for the phrase "raining cats and dogs" we would not have the glorious shaggy dog story about spare parts for Datsuns. :-)

Re: obstinacy vs. obstinancy  •  July 31, 2014, 9:26pm  •  0 vote

If it's in the OED then that's enough for me!

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 20, 2014, 5:38pm  •  0 vote

Grammar, like so much in the English language, is very often more about opinions than rules. I am sure that even noted grammarians differ on many aspects of it. That being so, it is no surprise that

Re: When did contacting someone become reaching out?  •  July 20, 2014, 5:18pm  •  0 vote

Apologies for the errant apostrophe in my previous post. Dyske, can we please have an edit function?

Re: When did contacting someone become reaching out?  •  July 20, 2014, 5:16pm  •  0 vote

@WW "Beat you to it HS" Indeed. I should have performed a more diligent search. I never heard that particular phrase during my time in the IT business, although I do agree that area of business

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 18, 2014, 1:08am  •  1 vote

To paraphrase a much misquoted line:- "I don't know much about grammar, but I know what I like". :-))

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  July 3, 2014, 10:04pm  •  0 vote

I would have thought that "A watched kettle never boils" would have been more common than the "pot" version. Perhaps "Watched pot never gets smoked" would be more appropriate today.

Re: “As per ....”?  •  June 23, 2014, 9:18pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thank you. :-))

Re: Using country name as an adjective?  •  June 21, 2014, 10:38pm  •  0 vote

@Chris B Apparently FIFA issued a directive that commentators should use Côte d'Ivoire, but I too prefer Ivory Coast. Then we can call the people Ivory Coasters.

Re: Use my brain or brains?  •  June 17, 2014, 12:44am  •  1 vote

I would think that "use your head" would be more commonly used than either of the brain versions. But maybe that's a Scottish thing.

Re: Are sports commentators and sports show anchors out to change the language?  •  June 12, 2014, 1:04am  •  0 vote

@WW Listening to antipodean sports commentators and sport show anchors is very often like hearing fingernails on a blackboard. At least the utterances of David Coleman, Eddie Waring, and Sid Wadde

Re: “Anglish”  •  June 12, 2014, 12:59am  •  0 vote

"[English] gets you ahead." should perhaps be "[English] gets you head."

Re: Are sports commentators and sports show anchors out to change the language?  •  June 9, 2014, 7:43pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks for the interesting and informative post. :)

Re: Are sports commentators and sports show anchors out to change the language?  •  June 6, 2014, 2:24am  •  0 vote

My favourite Colemanball is "And Coe just opened his legs and showed his class!"

Re: Meaningless Use of “key”  •  June 6, 2014, 2:21am  •  0 vote

@WW I am pleased to be for once in line with a "noted luminary". :) It just seems to me that we are seeing more and more of this kind of verbal shorthand a

Re: co- = subordinate vs. co = equals  •  June 4, 2014, 9:08pm  •  0 vote

One that I find irksome is coleader(s) or even co-leader(s). To me joint leader seems more natural but perhaps to some it may conjure up a somewhat different image.

Re: Meaningless Use of “key”  •  June 4, 2014, 8:54pm  •  0 vote

No problems with the use of key as an adjective preceding a noun in phrases such as "a key component" or even "a key venue". Where it is annoying is in phrases like "that is key" or "stamina is key"

Re: Are sports commentators and sports show anchors out to change the language?  •  May 26, 2014, 12:34am  •  0 vote

" jayles the ungreedy May 26, 2014, 12:31am @HS Yes indeed. I am mighty curious as to how you arrive at your own point of view" Just one of life's little mysteries I suppose.

Re: Are sports commentators and sports show anchors out to change the language?  •  May 25, 2014, 9:44pm  •  0 vote

@jayles There is change and there is bastardisation. Just depends on one's point of view I suppose. @Jasper "Welcome along to match of the day" is one that springs to mind. Just heard a coupl

Re: “advocate for” or just “advocate”?  •  May 23, 2014, 12:37am  •  1 vote

@BGriffin My apologies, I failed to notice the typo. The "to" which precedes recycle is obviously redundant.

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  May 19, 2014, 5:25pm  •  0 vote

@WW Quoting examples like these:- "Nigel Farage's UKIP are on the verge of winning a Scottish seat" - The Daily Record "Ukip are the pro-Europeans' most dangerous weapon"- The Telegraph "Ukip are

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 19, 2014, 3:42pm  •  0 vote

@WW I would draw your attention to this statement from a previous post:- "What I do question, however, is when somebody repeatedly calls something which is absolutely standard in British English, co

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 19, 2014, 12:46am  •  0 vote

@jayles One of the advantages of being a Scot transplanted in NZ via South Africa is that I can support multiple teams when the RUWC comes around:- Scotland, The Springboks, The ABs, any team play

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 18, 2014, 11:26pm  •  0 vote

Just a thought on the issue of "proof". Does quoting an opinion that agrees with your opinion constitute proof? Does quoting possibly isolated usage of certain words and phrases in famous works or b

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  May 18, 2014, 11:18pm  •  0 vote

Headline from The Daily Express:- "European elections are almost here - and Ukip are threatening to rewrite the electoral map" ??????????

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 18, 2014, 12:58am  •  0 vote

@Jasper If I have used something that is a rule of AmEnglish it is only because it matches what I believe to be a rule of BrEnglish, or at least what I was taught was a rule of BrEnglish. I will fre

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 18, 2014, 12:51am  •  0 vote

@jayles I have used Ngram on occasion and have found that the percentage usage shown for UK English is pretty much on the side of the angels. :-)) In fact it is on Ngram graphs tha

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 17, 2014, 11:36pm  •  0 vote

@jayles Lost me there I'm afraid, or are you saying that I am intent on "crucifying the opposition"? I assure you that is not the case. However I will stick to my opinions, and if subjected to pers

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  May 17, 2014, 10:46pm  •  0 vote

A pride of lion was seen in the clearing. A murder of crows was seen in the field. A covey of pheasant was raised by the dogs. Or should all of those be were?

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 17, 2014, 10:42pm  •  0 vote

@jayles PS I'm sure that you are not suggesting that any contributors to PITE should/could be considered pricks. :-))

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 17, 2014, 10:40pm  •  0 vote

@jayles At the risk of being thought facetious; your last post reminded me of a quip made when Barclay's Bank in South Africa became First National Bank of South Africa and chose a thorn tree as it

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 17, 2014, 7:48pm  •  0 vote

@WW If the sole point of debate on grey areas is victory, then OK, you win. I very much doubt we shall have many more debates, for me the fun is in the chase not in the kill. Perhaps you should

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 17, 2014, 4:03pm  •  0 vote

@WW "I do find this attitude that you are right and that just about everyone who has written about British English is wrong exasperating" I do not maintain that they are wrong, I merely question the

Re: “advocate for” or just “advocate”?  •  May 17, 2014, 1:07am  •  2 votes

May I use "advocating" without "for"? You not only may, you must. The government has been advocating that the community to recycle more.

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 14, 2014, 11:36pm  •  0 vote

I see that WW was holding forth the same theories last year:-

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  May 14, 2014, 11:34pm  •  0 vote

England invades Scotland once again, or is it England invade Scotland once again? Very confusing.

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  May 14, 2014, 11:32pm  •  0 vote

@WW Scotland are playing England?? Taking things a bit far there methinks. Falling into the commentators' trap. Does that mean that Scotland are a nice country?

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 14, 2014, 1:54am  •  0 vote

@jayles Thanks for your insight. :)

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 13, 2014, 9:50pm  •  0 vote

@jayles I attended school in Scotland from 1951 until 1963. From 1968 till 1981 I worked for an international company and during that period I had a lot of interaction with with Americans and Europe

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 13, 2014, 5:02pm  •  0 vote

@WW It would seem that things have changed since I attended school. One of those shifts or phases of evolution which are used to justify the adoption of changes to the language. Either that or my m

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 13, 2014, 4:20am  •  0 vote

PS As the title of this topic states "I couldn't care less."

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 13, 2014, 4:19am  •  0 vote

@WW Some interesting distinctions there, and some a bit difficult to swallow. With all due respect to yourself and the luminaries you quote, I'd favour the simple approach and go one way or the othe

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 12, 2014, 3:47pm  •  0 vote

@WW So you're telling me that the following are correct? "The crowd are on their feet" "The government are convinced" "The herd are lowing" "The RBS are closed" "The East India Company were a fa

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 12, 2014, 2:18am  •  1 vote

@jayles I suppose the reason they taught that collective nouns take a singular verb was because that was what they had been taught and what the text books said. To be honest, does "that herd of cows

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 11, 2014, 11:16pm  •  0 vote

@Jayles A somewhat cynical view which I may well have adopted at various points during my education. However, in the long run, I can only express gratitude to the many harried souls who strove to po

Re: thus, therefore and hence are different  •  May 11, 2014, 8:50pm  •  0 vote

I was shot in the leg, hence my limp. I think therefore I am, I think. Thus was the wrath of the lord visited upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

Re: Have diphthongs gone for good?  •  May 11, 2014, 8:48pm  •  1 vote

@jayles Nice one!

Re: Have diphthongs gone for good?  •  May 11, 2014, 8:47pm  •  0 vote

@WW Your Slough joke reminded me of the one about the young Geordie (native of Newcastle upon Tyne for our non-UK readers) corporal at Yorkes Drift. On being awakened by a distant drumming noise he

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 11, 2014, 5:52pm  •  0 vote

@WW While I do have reservations about some aspects of American English, there are many areas where our transatlantic cousins do get it right. You can post as many examples of misuse as you choose,

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 10, 2014, 8:27pm  •  0 vote

@WW Anent your last post; I'd say that the House of Lords and Dalrymple got it wrong in each of those examples. I've never heard a plural verb used with a company or a bank. I'd also maintain that

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 10, 2014, 6:36pm  •  0 vote

@Funslinger Layed?

Re: fewer / less  •  May 9, 2014, 3:02am  •  1 vote

@jayles I think most of us would agree on that. The issue seems to be the use of less with a 'countable' noun.

Re: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?  •  May 7, 2014, 11:13pm  •  0 vote

I have heard the terms 'matriculate' and 'matriculant' used in connection with Senior Secondary or High Schools. But that sounds dreadful to my ear. In the UK firms would advertise for applicants hol

Re: Alternate Prepositions?  •  May 7, 2014, 9:27pm  •  0 vote

@WW I admire the quixotic zeal with which you defend minority positions. :-)) Just heard another "alternate preposition" on Fox Sports News. Interviewer asked "Is the player in risk?". There

Re: fewer / less  •  May 7, 2014, 5:39pm  •  0 vote

@WW "Which is also perhaps why 'fewer' can sometimes sound awkward to some people" There are also occasions when 'less' sounds awkward. I'd submit that there is a place for both words and that it i

Re: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?  •  May 7, 2014, 5:33pm  •  0 vote

PS The correct form is of course "graduate from". :-))

Re: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?  •  May 7, 2014, 5:32pm  •  0 vote

@providencejim Hi, as WW says, I do have a number of foibles, one of which is a tendency to tongue in cheek statements. If I have offended you, I do apologise. In the UK graduation is almost exclu

Re: fewer / less  •  May 6, 2014, 7:51pm  •  0 vote

@WW Is the distinction between less and fewer and number and amount not similar to that between much and many? "too much bacon" "too many eggs"

Re: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?  •  May 6, 2014, 12:13am  •  0 vote

In the real world one graduates from university. Completing the required terms at a high school or college does not equate to a graduation.

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  May 6, 2014, 12:12am  •  0 vote

If you think I could care less you have another thing coming. :-))

Re: fewer / less  •  May 6, 2014, 12:09am  •  0 vote

I often wonder if idiomatic is sometimes being confused with idiotic. :-)) To me the distinction between less and fewer makes sense. (Now WW will be thinking "Expected nothing else from

Re: Alternate Prepositions?  •  May 2, 2014, 12:51am  •  0 vote

Found the graphs:- I was mistaken about the marked increase in the 1960s. There was a slight increase.

Re: Alternate Prepositions?  •  May 1, 2014, 11:31pm  •  0 vote

@WW I seem to have upset you, and for that I apologise. The stats to which I refer were in fact gleaned from a post that you made some time ago and I will endeavour to retrieve that post. That post

Re: Alternate Prepositions?  •  April 30, 2014, 9:55pm  •  0 vote

@WW "Endeavour" was in fact where I heard "what do you make to". As for "the age old debate"; there are many who believe, as I do, that the use of "different to" is an affectation adopted by a con

Re: Plural of Yes  •  April 24, 2014, 1:09am  •  0 vote

Let's get back to Yea and Nay. The plurals are easier. :-))

Re: Isn’t the word “feminism” itself gender-biased?  •  April 21, 2014, 9:59pm  •  1 vote

Is feminine logic really an oxymoron? :-))

Re: Have diphthongs gone for good?  •  April 21, 2014, 9:56pm  •  0 vote

My interest is more with the pronunciation. I remain unconvinced that fetus is the correct pronunciation for fœtus. It seems such a waste of two good vowels. And how did Phœnicia escape the dreaded

Re: Have diphthongs gone for good?  •  April 18, 2014, 11:46pm  •  0 vote

@Liverwort "As typewriters came into common use, I can't see how the mechanical versions would allow letters to overlap." Special characters perhaps? Have German typewriters not handled umlauts f

Re: Have diphthongs gone for good?  •  April 16, 2014, 7:19pm  •  0 vote

@WW Looking at it logically, which is perhaps the wrong approach with English, there seems to be no sense in coupling an 'e' with an 'a' or an 'o' just to get a long 'e' sound. That the 'e' is meant

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