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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 30, 2011
Comments posted: 565
Votes received: 496

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 26, 2014


April 6, 2014

“admits to”

March 10, 2014

Pronunciation of “gill”

January 19, 2014

“You have two choices”

December 8, 2013


November 23, 2013

Horizontal Stripes?

November 5, 2013

in that regard

October 12, 2013

“deal to”

February 27, 2013

Preferred forms

December 31, 2012

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 always pronounce "wh" in the same way for "when", "where", "whether", "which", and "who".
Here in NZ, as you probably know, there is an interesting twist on "wh" in certain place names.

Hairy Scot July 6, 2017, 9:39pm

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How about the first "h" in "which"?
I'm not sure if it's RP or not, but I often hear English people pronounce "which" in the same way as "witch".

Hairy Scot July 3, 2017, 12:26am

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"May I have" or "I would like" would be preferable to any of the "get" options when speaking to a waiter or shop assistant.
When speaking to a customer the use of "do you want......" should be dropped in favour of "would you like".

"Listen up" and "do the math" should be consigned to the bin for all time.

Hairy Scot June 18, 2017, 2:11am

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I'd say that when using the % sign it would be "between 40% and 50%" but when spelling it out "between 40 and 50 percent" would be adequate.

Hairy Scot March 24, 2017, 9:12pm

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I respect your opinion however misguided it may be.

Since you are obviously not a grammar freak, are you perhaps some other genus of freak?

Hairy Scot February 28, 2017, 9:57pm

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Hairy Scot January 25, 2017, 9:18pm

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In email to someone familiar, I open with "Hi" and sign off with "Cheers" or "Slàinte mhath". Otherwise I use "Good day" and "Regards".
In letters it's normally "Dear ......" and "Yours sincerely".
I agree that "Yours truly" and "Yours faithfully" now seem to be considered passé.

Hairy Scot January 17, 2017, 8:27pm

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How about, "The rent has doubled.", or "The rent is now twice what it was."
Both "two times higher" and "two times as high" sound like phrases used by primary school kids.

Hairy Scot January 17, 2017, 8:18pm

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@Ralph Malph

"I have gotten...."??

No thanks!

Hairy Scot December 3, 2016, 4:06pm

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An acronym is a pronounceable word made up of a series of initial letters or parts of words the possessive, or the plural possessive is handled in exactly the same way as it is for all words which end in S.
I would assume that the same hold true for the possessive plural of a set of initials.
eg: RADARs range, PDFs' size

Hairy Scot October 23, 2016, 2:17pm

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That was a somewhat petulant and insulting post.
I am certainly not trying issue you with any fiats or diktats, but merely pointing out that there are those of us whose views differ from yours.
You are of course entitled to your opinions, as am I.
I also like to question many things; among these are the way our language has been and is being bastardised and the laissez faire attitudes of those who consistently trumpet the dubious virtues of common usage.
As for my education being founded in a "Victorian" view; that premise is not even worthy of comment, let alone discussion.
I do not cling unquestioningly to any facet of the English language, but it does seem that there are those like yourself who are quite happy to see the language sullied in support of common usage.

Hairy Scot October 15, 2016, 6:33pm

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I believe that "cacography" has been mentioned on at least two occasions in this thread.

Hairy Scot October 12, 2016, 1:36pm

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"ATM machine"?

Nice tautology there.

Hairy Scot October 7, 2016, 12:50pm

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I rest my case.

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 7:16pm

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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, 3:53pm

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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, 2:02pm

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"@HS It's not just Jane Austen:

Does that makes it correct?

Hairy Scot September 25, 2016, 3:24am

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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 24, 2016, 10:34pm

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

Hairy Scot September 24, 2016, 8:27pm

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