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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 30, 2011
Comments posted: 563
Votes received: 448

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

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

Hairy Scot September 21, 2016, 8:17pm

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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 21, 2016, 8:14pm

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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 21, 2016, 8:07pm

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I don't think so.

Hairy Scot August 16, 2016, 3:18pm

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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, 5:11pm

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

Hairy Scot August 9, 2016, 5:38pm

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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, 5:35pm

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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, 1:33pm

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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, 4:55pm

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

Hairy Scot July 31, 2016, 2:30am

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

Hairy Scot July 8, 2016, 7:54pm

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Forgive the extra line in my previous post.
A thought that died at birth.


Hairy Scot June 25, 2016, 1:36pm

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We could call it "oblique speech", or even "roundabout speech", or we could use a derivative of euphemism, metaphor, or allegory.
I am sure there a a number of terms that could be used to avoid the inevitable confusion caused by the use of the term "indirect speech" in this context.
Perhaps a simpler solution would be to refer

Hairy Scot June 25, 2016, 1:33pm

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It is all part of an evil American plot to eliminate prepositions.


Hairy Scot June 19, 2016, 3:43pm

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Re: 'There is no pled!'

To quote The Everly Brothers 'Wake up little Suzie'.

Pled is alive and well and living in many Scottish courtrooms.

Hairy Scot May 29, 2016, 7:36pm

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Nor I.

Hairy Scot May 14, 2016, 10:48pm

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Never seen or heard "ish" used in the manner you describe.
In my experience it's more commonly used to mean "around" or "about", as in "What time will you arrive?" "12ish"

Hairy Scot April 27, 2016, 4:06pm

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Yep, just like speed limits and taxes.

Hairy Scot April 17, 2016, 1:10pm

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I suggest you read the previous entries in this thread and make up your own mind.
There are those of us who will say that it has to be "were".
However, "was" seems to be gaining in popularity.

You seem to be getting diseased and deceased confused. :-)

Hairy Scot March 28, 2016, 8:05pm

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@Amandaa 12
"We have yet to go to the store" sounds better.
Omitting "yet" from either example does perhaps shade the meaning slightly.

Hairy Scot February 13, 2016, 4:23pm

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