Hairy Scot

Joined: January 31, 2011

Number of comments posted: 482

Number of votes received: 248

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: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 11, 2011, 11:57am  •  0 vote

The most annoying thing about pedants is that they are usually correct. While common usage can be a good thing, the unfortunate fact is that in lots of cases it is not. @Warsaw Will I think your st

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 10, 2011, 3:46pm  •  1 vote

I took Latin in high school (don't ask me why, I have forgotten). My lasting memory is of one classics master with a sense of humour telling a bunch of second year students, "In Latin a sentence is a

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 9, 2011, 3:44pm  •  0 vote

@Porsche @JJM My apologies, you are absolutely correct. I should have said "which has an irregular subjunctive", and perhaps have added, "It is that very fact which causes the confusion that led t

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 8:19pm  •  0 vote

There are a number of discussion forums covering this topic, and the opinions are as varied as those given here. One example is at:- I was tau

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 4:58pm  •  0 vote

The statement "It may seem that was is crowding out subjunctive were" suggests that there is a difference between "was" and "subjunctive were". Where does MWDEU state what the subjunctive is, what it

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 4:38pm  •  0 vote

@goofy Yes, I agree. But you did say "how good writers actually write".

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 4:09pm  •  1 vote

@goofy "If I were....." formal, written "If I was ...." informal, conversational There is a good and detailed explanation here:-

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 3:42pm  •  0 vote

Why is being correct labelled as pedantry? English is my second language and I find it intriguing that people who insist on correctness are labelled, almost insultingly, as pedants. Why is this? Wh

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 8, 2011, 3:37pm  •  0 vote

I thought this one had been done to death. Advocating adherence to the rules and structures of a language is not pedantry. Have a look at this:-

Re: “would of” instead of “would have” or “would’ve”  •  November 8, 2011, 3:27pm  •  5 votes

@Jor Please don't get me started on the misuse of apostrophes. My brain might explode.

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 8, 2011, 11:32am  •  0 vote

Looks like some unregistered bozo has found a way to make use of registered names. Last time this happened a lot of posts were removed.

Re: “would of” instead of “would have” or “would’ve”  •  November 7, 2011, 9:26pm  •  2 votes

Never seen the "ov" form, but "would ov" is no more correct than "would of".

Re: “would of” instead of “would have” or “would’ve”  •  November 7, 2011, 9:20pm  •  0 vote

@AnWulf "The Coffin Dancer" by Jeffery Deaver. (Whose father, like Roald Dahl's, couldn't spell.) ;)

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 7, 2011, 3:23pm  •  1 vote

@AnWulf Surprised to see that you haven't climbed into the debate about "This is she".

Re: What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?  •  November 7, 2011, 12:54pm  •  0 vote

Isn't it called an Americanism? :)

Re: “enamored with” and “enamored by”  •  November 7, 2011, 12:50pm  •  6 votes

Try searching for enamoured, you'll find lots of info: enamoured or (US) enamored adj 1 (usually enamoured with someone) formal or literary in love with them. 2 (usually enamoured of something) ve

Re: What can I do besides...  •  November 5, 2011, 1:44pm  •  1 vote

@dogreed Sorry dude, you got it wrong. Besides appears in both the OED and Chambers:- besides prep in addition to, as well as or apart from something or someone. adverb 1 also; as well • We saw t

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 7:51pm  •  0 vote

@Anwulf As one whose native tongue was all but eliminated by the English (the race, not the language), I would agree that evolution does not always lead to improvement. What followed 1066 in England

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 6:28pm  •  0 vote

Since AS is your hobby I will bow to your superior knowledge. :)

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 5:38pm  •  0 vote

@Anwulf Maybe you should join the Anglish community. As lots of posters keep saying on this forum, "Language evolves". The concern is whether or not the evolution is good or bad.

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 5:30pm  •  0 vote

Tung:- Old High German Etymology Cognate with Old English dung, Icelandic dyngja Noun tung a barn covered with dung an underground cellar

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 2:35pm  •  0 vote

Yes indeed, well said Valentina.

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 2:27pm  •  0 vote

Thank you Valentina.

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 4, 2011, 2:22pm  •  1 vote

@Anwulf You are even more close minded and dogmatic than those you accuse of being pedants. You have a lot in common with some of the present day vociferous minorities who seem to be intent only on g

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 3, 2011, 1:46pm  •  1 vote

Regardless of correctness or elegance, terminal prepositions can be easily avoided. " “Toys are meant to be played with” could be rendered as "Toys are intended for play" or "Toys are playthings"

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 31, 2011, 11:50am  •  2 votes

OMG! We are doomed!

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 30, 2011, 4:38pm  •  1 vote

So one can then underexaggerate?

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 29, 2011, 7:49pm  •  4 votes

Would you use phrases like "reverse backward", or "advance forward"? I would think not. Over exaggerate is in the same category. There is an inherent redundancy.

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 29, 2011, 7:38pm  •  1 vote

@Anwulf The words in the post are not mine, I was merely providing an excerpt from the entry at However I do agree with what that excerpt states. Th

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 29, 2011, 1:37pm  •  5 votes

From Exaggerate means to represent as greater than is actually the case—in other words, to overstate. Because exaggerate already denotes excessivenes

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 28, 2011, 4:36pm  •  3 votes

@JohnnyM Pedantic: yes, condescending: perhaps, offensive: no. I have not, as you have done, targeted a particular poster, because that would perhaps be offensive. False analogies or not, the facts

Re: Backward vs. Backwards?  •  October 25, 2011, 4:38pm  •  3 votes

@Meg The OED and Chambers disagree. Both list the "s" forms as synonyms of the "non-s" versions. Another victory for common usage over common sense.

Re: Usage of ‘I have doubt that’  •  October 9, 2011, 2:25pm  •  0 vote

@porsche "I have doubt" may be grammatically correct but it does sound strange. Normal usage would be "I have doubts" or "I have my doubts".

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 8, 2011, 4:10pm  •  0 vote

@evath You could be right! :)

Re: Over exaggeration  •  October 7, 2011, 9:35pm  •  4 votes

A lot of drivel being spouted here. Despite what Merriam-Webster or any other North American dictionary may say, there are of course no degrees of exaggeration just as there are no degrees of uniquen

Re: Usage of ‘I have doubt that’  •  October 7, 2011, 9:14pm  •  0 vote

One can say "I doubt ......." or "I have doubts...................". I do not think that "I have doubt..........." is correct.

Re: “Under urgency”  •  October 7, 2011, 5:07pm  •  1 vote

@AnWulf Yes, I am in NZ. I "googled" the phrase and the vast majority of hits were from NZ. There were one or two from US and UK. It does seem that Antipodeans do enjoy inventing new words and ph

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 7, 2011, 1:00pm  •  0 vote

@porsche, Hairy Scot I too am guilty of of being dismissive of M-W. Thank you Porsche for pointing us all in the right direction.

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 7, 2011, 12:57pm  •  0 vote

@porsche Thanks for pointing that out. I'll admit I tend to dismiss M-W out of hand. In future I shall look before I leap.

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 2:43pm  •  2 votes

The only true gospel for the English language is the OED, although Chambers is acceptable for those of us who do the crosswords in the quality broadsheets.

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 6, 2011, 2:27pm  •  4 votes

@Remek Should the media, whether in print, on radio, or on television, not have a responsibility to foster proper use of the language? "Hone in" is wrong. If the phrase had some humourous or literar

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 6, 2011, 1:58pm  •  9 votes

Surely evolution should lead to improvement, not the dumbing down and debasement of the language by over simplification and erroneous usage. The type of evolution you seem to espouse will eventually

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 1:06am  •  0 vote

Unfortunately Merriam-Webster tends to reflect only what is common or acceptable in North America and is often in conflict with sources outside of that area. If it were not for that we would probably

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 5, 2011, 1:33pm  •  4 votes

In common with the majority of the English speaking world I do not consider Merriam-Webster a definitive, nor even proper, source of information on the language. The use of "hone in" instead of "home

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 5, 2011, 1:27pm  •  0 vote

@Brus I have agreed with you all along. It's just that we couldn't convince Goofy. The use of 'If I was ...." instead of "If I were" is something that makes me cringe. If I were you I would do as I

Re: whensoever vs. whenever  •  October 4, 2011, 11:55pm  •  1 vote

I think "whensoever" is archaic and was superceded by "whenever". The sentence, “The students may leave whenever they so choose” seems rather stilted although it is quite correct.. Most people would

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 4, 2011, 4:06pm  •  0 vote


Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 1, 2011, 3:20pm  •  0 vote

@Brus We are obviously casting our pearls before swine. I give up!

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 30, 2011, 2:13pm  •  12 votes

@goofy The difference lies in the use of subjunctive vs indicative as stated by Brus. Perhaps a better example is:- "If I was a hopeless cad, I apologize." "If I were a hopeless cad, I would never

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 26, 2011, 5:52pm  •  2 votes

Both idiolect and counterfactual appear in OED but, strangely, counterfactual does not appear in Chambers. (I am typing this in Google Chrome and counterfactual is flagged as a spelling error.)

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 25, 2011, 9:41pm  •  0 vote

@Brus I agree 100%. Unfortunately the demon of common usage conspires to defeat all attempts at maintaining the integrity of our language.

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 25, 2011, 9:14pm  •  16 votes

Another example of how "common usage" leads to deterioration and debasement of the language. Anyone with an education from a decent UK school will tell you that of course the correct form is "If I we

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 23, 2011, 11:47pm  •  3 votes

@Kyle I agree that language evolves, but unfortunately all too often the normalisation and simplification merely amount to a process of dumbing down and in some cases even debasement of the languag

Re: “My writing books” or “Me writing books”?  •  August 11, 2011, 9:56pm  •  1 vote

"My writing.........." is correct.

Re: Stood down  •  August 7, 2011, 8:04pm  •  0 vote

The opposite of "to be stood up"??

Re: Stood down  •  August 7, 2011, 12:53am  •  0 vote

Hello acorn1. Please see my response in the other thread. As for the source of the phrase "stood down": it appeared recently in a New Zealand newspaper and is in fact used frequently by the press a

Re: Someone else’s  •  August 7, 2011, 12:43am  •  5 votes

@Scott @Acorn1 I also have a sense of humour, which it seems is something you both lack.

Re: Someone else’s  •  August 1, 2011, 5:29pm  •  7 votes

The use of phrases like "in America', or "in the US", or "according to Webster's" tends to destroy the credibility of any argument about spelling or grammar.

Re: Impact as a noun  •  August 1, 2011, 2:51pm  •  0 vote

As joshelson stated:- "The use of terms such as "impact on" and the reviling popular uses of the transitive case "impacting" are the products of corporate-speak and the obsessive need to perpetually

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  May 22, 2011, 11:51pm  •  3 votes

I did not expect so much debate on this. My own feeling is that "I have" is a bit more elegant than "I have got". I was not aware that either form had a geographic bias. I would also take issue with

Re: Signage  •  February 10, 2011, 9:30pm  •  0 vote

@porsche I agree that some of the examples may be correct and/or ambiguous, and it would be quite a chore to go through them all.. The verb is in this article:-

Re: Signage  •  February 10, 2011, 8:12am  •  0 vote

I think you may even find one example there where it appears as a verb!

Re: Signage  •  February 10, 2011, 8:11am  •  1 vote

Rather than list examples I suggest you take a look at this link:- which may serve the purpose.

Re: Signage  •  February 8, 2011, 10:29pm  •  0 vote

@Bryan M Yes, my thoughts exactly. However, "common usage" or as I said "trying to be clever usage" seems to be leading to its use as the plural. This is especially true in NZ, especially in the

Re: “identical to” and “identical with”  •  February 8, 2011, 8:48pm  •  0 vote

Has to be "identical to" "similar to" "same as"! With does not come into it in any of these cases! Common usage does not mean it is correct!

Re: Correct preposition following different?  •  January 31, 2011, 11:09pm  •  0 vote

Oops! My initial post was obviously not clear. I was thinking only in terms of comparisons. eg:- Apples are different from oranges.

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  January 31, 2011, 7:59am  •  0 vote

@CA-Rooster Regarding "debut" I must admit that the kiwi commentators (or commentors) are just as guilty. In fact perhaps "tormentors" would be more apt. :) As for RWC, I now suffer from multip

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  January 31, 2011, 5:24am  •  0 vote

@CA-Rooster. Sorry if you found my post insulting, it certainly was not intended to be. I stand by my comment on "preliminary final", surely quarter-final or semi-final would be a more descripti

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  January 31, 2011, 4:20am  •  0 vote

Last sentence of previous post should read:- However I feel it ironic that someone from a nation where they cannot correctly prounouce “debut” feels qualified to hold forth on the english language.

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  January 31, 2011, 4:17am  •  0 vote

Wish I had found this thread earlier! Would have loved to argue a few points with hot4teacher or any other antipodean, especially those around sporting terms. For example they have in Oz sports some

  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5   next »