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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 31, 2011
Comments posted: 559
Votes received: 416

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

@Nick D

Of course you can use it.
However the unfortunate fact is that common usage does not always mean correct usage.


Hairy Scot March 8, 2015, 6:00pm

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Dunno if this is totally relevant, but I have seen and heard phrases like "an empty bottle of wine" used instead of the more (in my view) logical "empty wine bottle".

Hairy Scot March 4, 2015, 4:05pm

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Hairy Scot February 26, 2015, 4:11pm

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Once again I must compliment you on a detailed and interesting post.


Hairy Scot February 26, 2015, 4:09pm

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Nice response Will.


Hairy Scot February 23, 2015, 8:26pm

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Just an after thought:-
In the case of "----- and ruin" I am more attracted to the idea that "wrack" may be the more apt choice given its near similarity to "wreck" and indeed its original root.

Hairy Scot January 4, 2015, 1:30am

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The article I read was in fact that by Michael Quinlon which appeared on World Wide Words..

Hairy Scot January 3, 2015, 4:27pm

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It certainly does seem rather stilted, and the addition of "back" makes it even worse.

Hairy Scot January 2, 2015, 3:39pm

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Attacking or criticising the person rather than the opinion or position seems to be something that is very much in vogue on internet forums (or fora if you prefer it).
I have encountered it on a number of occasions but I must say that it pains me to see instances of it here on PITE.
While I may not always agree with WW, I would never dream of insulting him.

Hairy Scot December 29, 2014, 6:48pm

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One swallow does not a summer make, nor yet a meal.


Hairy Scot December 29, 2014, 6:41pm

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@jayles the unwoven

Aren't deviations very common in France. ;)

Hairy Scot December 12, 2014, 5:24pm

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Thanks for the info Will.
I admire your dedication to research.

Perhaps I'm getting more pernickety as I age, but 3-laning just strikes me as odd.
"Road improvement" or "lane upgrades" would serve just as well.

I must confess that NZTA is one of my favourite sources of pet peeves.
The organisation first caught my attention when is saw a sign describing a highway being built to bypass the Auckland suburb of Hobsonville as "The Hobsonville Deviation".
(Sounds like some kind of nasty habit unique to the residents.)

Hairy Scot December 9, 2014, 5:32pm

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@jayles the unwoven

Not sure how all that fits in to "grey areas of the English language".

Eschewing words derived from Latin and the romance languages seem to me to be a rather pointless exercise.
Do we really want to go around sounding like extras from Lord of the Rings?

Hairy Scot November 24, 2014, 8:18pm

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Why is this thread here?

There is a whole forum devoted to Anglish.

Hairy Scot November 23, 2014, 5:19pm

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Thanks Will. ;)

Hairy Scot October 19, 2014, 5:25pm

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What about although?

Hairy Scot August 8, 2014, 7:58pm

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On a lighter note; if it were not for the phrase "raining cats and dogs" we would not have the glorious shaggy dog story about spare parts for Datsuns.


Hairy Scot August 1, 2014, 10:18pm

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If it's in the OED then that's enough for me!

Hairy Scot July 31, 2014, 9:26pm

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Grammar, like so much in the English language, is very often more about opinions than rules.
I am sure that even noted grammarians differ on many aspects of it.
That being so, it is no surprise that mere mortals like us differ on so many points.

Hairy Scot July 20, 2014, 5:38pm

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