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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 31, 2011
Comments posted: 551
Votes received: 386

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

Indirect Speech?

June 15, 2016

“Defeat to”

November 2, 2015

“Thanks for that”

January 7, 2015

“Rack” or “Wrack”?

January 2, 2015

3 Laning?

December 8, 2014

“Watching on”?

November 23, 2014

Alternate Prepositions?

April 27, 2014


April 7, 2014

“admits to”

March 11, 2014

Pronunciation of “gill”

January 20, 2014

“You have two choices”

December 9, 2013


November 23, 2013

Horizontal Stripes?

November 6, 2013

in that regard

October 12, 2013

“deal to”

February 27, 2013

Preferred forms

January 1, 2013

intend on doing?

December 29, 2012

“in regards to”

October 17, 2012

“it caught on fire”

October 16, 2012

“Liquid water”?

October 12, 2012

“get in contact”

July 11, 2012

“As per ....”?

May 12, 2012

-age words

March 11, 2012


November 29, 2011

Stood down

August 1, 2011


February 8, 2011

Recent Comments

I rest my case.

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 11:16pm

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I just have one more question:
Do you, and those who share your thoughts on issues like this, believe that those of us who attended schools and universities prior to 1965 should forget all that we learned about the English language in that time and adopt the various fads and errors that have become commonplace since then?

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 7:53pm

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That is a typical descriptivist cop out.
Your use of "different to" illustrates that you are firmly in the camp of those who just like to be different for the sake of being different and who have absolutely no respect for the language.
No doubt you will soon be advocating the use of "should of" as a correct alternative to "should have" and that perpendicular just means at right angles with no regard to plane.
How do you stand on mixing up past tense and past participle?

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 6:02pm

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"@HS It's not just Jane Austen:

Does that makes it correct?

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 7:24am

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Are you saying that Jane Austen could not have been wrong?

You know, it really surprises me that people who are apparently reasonably well educated seek to gainsay what has been taught for decades in schools in the UK and elsewhere.
It's a bit like the old lady watching troops marching past and exclaiming, "They're all out of step bar our Willie".

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 2:34am

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In answer to your two previous posts.
Family is and always will be a collective noun.

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 12:27am

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@jayles the unwoven

There are nouns which are recognised as having only a plural form and as such are not relevant to a discussion on collective nouns.
These include police, cattle, oats, tweezers, pants, remains.

Hairy Scot September 24, 2016, 8:59pm

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My apologies for the typo in my previous post.
I should of course have used plurality instead of pluralism.

Hairy Scot September 22, 2016, 7:29pm

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With you 100% on this one.
However, I've no doubt the usual naysayers will present some spurious contrary arguments.

Hairy Scot September 22, 2016, 12:17am

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This keeps popping up, and there are those who will insist on using a plural verb for certain collective nouns.
IMHO a collective noun gets a singular verb. End of story.
Despite arguments to the contrary, "family" is a collective noun, and I don't care how many family members there might be, it therefore gets a singular verb.
Similarly team, government, IRS, etc etc are all collectives and get singular verbs.
No doubt Warsaw Will and Jayles will now climb in with contrary positions based on some spurious concept of pluralism.

Hairy Scot September 22, 2016, 12:14am

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I'd go with "Walking Heaven’s woods with her daddy."
I base that on my reading it as Heaven being singular and the woods being part of Heaven.

Hairy Scot September 22, 2016, 12:07am

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I don't think so.

Hairy Scot August 16, 2016, 7:18pm

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I do not dispute that there is a place for both words.
I'd just prefer to see and hear them used properly.

Hairy Scot August 11, 2016, 9:11pm

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Forgive the superfluous "I" in my previous entry.
Finger trouble.

Hairy Scot August 9, 2016, 9:38pm

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Surely you do not mean that its is acceptable to say "fewer money" instead of "less money" or "less dollars" instead of "fewer dollars"?
Or are you referring to the less/fewer debate as it affect the signs at supermarket checkouts?
As for depredation; when I read items on internet forums (fora) I have I to think my use of the word is justified.
I have no doubt that there are many high school English teachers who, thanks to common usage, have been turning in their graves with increasing regularity over the last 30 for 40 years.

Hairy Scot August 9, 2016, 9:35pm

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I'm with you 100%.
Unfortunately there are even well educated people, some of whom post on this forum, who maintain that we need not differentiate between countable and uncountable nouns and that there is therefore no difference between less/fewer, much/many, amount/number, etc.
Those of us who insist on proper usage are all pedants.

A pox on common usage and its depredation of the language.

Hairy Scot August 8, 2016, 5:33pm

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This little gem from AP:-
"The Democratic governor said Friday Van Houten's "inability to explain her willing participation in such horrific violence" leads him to believe she remains an unreasonable risk to society."
is a fine example of how the omission of punctuation, prepositions, and conjunctions, can lead to confusion.
Another downside to Mercan English.

Hairy Scot August 2, 2016, 8:55pm

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“I don’t like whole-wheat pie crust.”
“Nor do I.”

Hairy Scot July 31, 2016, 6:30am

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Neither, because I don't have the music in me.

Hairy Scot July 8, 2016, 11:54pm

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