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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 30, 2011
Comments posted: 565
Votes received: 486

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 forgot to add "reach out to" being used as an alternative for "contact".

Hairy Scot October 13, 2015, 2:40pm

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Unfortunately jargon, or "management speak" as some call it, has become all common and has spread from business to everyday use.
Phrases like "keep me updated", "keep me apprised", "at the end of the day", "take under advisement", and "going forward", occasionally have me tearing out what little hair I have left.
One can add to that the use of "-age" words as plurals; for example using signage as the plural of sign.
(It has been given a red line by my Google Chrome spell check).

Hairy Scot October 13, 2015, 2:39pm

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Here in the antipodes I am sure there will always be some aspect of language use about which I can rant.
Perhaps I should shut off the sound when I watch sport on television.
But perhaps, as TV commentators are wont to say, I may have already alluded to that.


Hairy Scot October 13, 2015, 2:25pm

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It could of course be argued that there are occasions when "this Wednesday" and "next Wednesday" might refer to the same day.
However, in my experience "this Wednesday" refers to the Wednesday in the current week regardless of whether it has yet to come or has in fact passed, "next Wednesday" refers to the Wednesday of the coming week, and "last Wednesday" refers to the Wednesday of the previous week.

Hairy Scot October 13, 2015, 2:20pm

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"But that doesn't mean we say them like that."
Saying dates like that has become very common here in NZ. Especially on television and radio.

It's been a while since I wore my grumpy old pedant hat, so I felt constrained to find something about which to bitch!


Hairy Scot October 8, 2015, 9:15pm

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IMHO you are correct.

Hairy Scot October 4, 2015, 7:06pm

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The use of "wait on" in the context you describe is quite common in Scotland and, I am given to understand, in the southern states of the USA.
I'm not sure in which other regions it might be common, but its usage does seem to have become acceptable.
Purists and pedants may cringe but common usage will always be the final arbiter.
While I rarely use the phrase, I see nothing wrong in its use as an alternative to "wait for".

Hairy Scot August 30, 2015, 7:47pm

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I get tense just thinking about it.

Hairy Scot August 8, 2015, 12:34am

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Maybe the context has some bearing, or even the old formal/informal use argument?

One could argue that the indiscriminate addition of suffices is rather too common these days.
A prime example of this being the "-age" suffix which has led to its use to form words which some use as alternative plurals instead of collective terms.

Hairy Scot August 8, 2015, 12:32am

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Might be something to do with the roots of the various words or terms.
There are those who maintain that those with Latin or French roots are preferable to those with Germanic origins, and vice versa.

May also have something to do with educational standards?

Hairy Scot August 8, 2015, 12:23am

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I'd say both are correct, although my preference in this case would be "escaped from prison".
Escape without from is appropriate with words like censure, notice, punishment, comment.
It just doesn't sound right when used in that fashion with words like prison, gaol, confinement.
The "escaped prison" is, I suspect, more common in American English where there seems to be a tendency to drop prepositions and even definite and indefinite articles.
For example:-
"Graduate college" instead of "Graduate from college"
"Trump debated Bush" rather than "Trump debated with Bush"
"It happened Monday" rather than "It happened on Monday"

But I may be wrong.


Hairy Scot August 8, 2015, 12:20am

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Just for the record:-

Acronym: An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA, LASER RADAR).

Initialism: An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. BBC, CIA, IBM).

Hairy Scot July 30, 2015, 7:54pm

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Does the sentence refer to one child or two children?

Hairy Scot July 18, 2015, 3:19pm

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

Hairy Scot July 14, 2015, 6:24pm

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

Hairy Scot July 13, 2015, 2:02pm

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


Hairy Scot July 8, 2015, 2:13am

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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.

Hairy Scot June 21, 2015, 4:12pm

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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.

Hairy Scot June 7, 2015, 2:29pm

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@Mick Carlton


Hairy Scot May 7, 2015, 5:36pm

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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?

Hairy Scot April 21, 2015, 12:37pm

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