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Hairy Scot

Joined: January 30, 2011
Comments posted: 569
Votes received: 502

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

@jayles the unwoven

Aren't deviations very common in France. ;)

Hairy Scot December 12, 2014, 12:24pm

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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, 12:32pm

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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, 3:18pm

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Why is this thread here?

There is a whole forum devoted to Anglish.

Hairy Scot November 23, 2014, 12:19pm

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Thanks Will. ;)

Hairy Scot October 19, 2014, 1:25pm

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What about although?

Hairy Scot August 8, 2014, 3:58pm

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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, 6:18pm

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

Hairy Scot July 31, 2014, 5:26pm

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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, 1:38pm

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Apologies for the errant apostrophe in my previous post.

Dyske, can we please have an edit function?

Hairy Scot July 20, 2014, 1:18pm

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"Beat you to it HS"
I should have performed a more diligent search.

I never heard that particular phrase during my time in the IT business, although I do agree that area of business has always been a wellspring of management speak.
The phrase in question first assaulted my ears during an episode of a TV series entitled "Crisis" where it was used in the context of FBI personnel requesting information from various parties.
However it was it's appearance in the recent emails which drove me to raise the issue on PITE.

Hairy Scot July 20, 2014, 1:16pm

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To paraphrase a much misquoted line:-
"I don't know much about grammar, but I know what I like".


Hairy Scot July 17, 2014, 9:08pm

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I would have thought that "A watched kettle never boils" would have been more common than the "pot" version.
Perhaps "Watched pot never gets smoked" would be more appropriate today.


As for different versions with the same meaning; there is one that I find somewhat annoying and that is "The best defence is a good offence" which seems to be a favourite with Grid Iron commentators.
IMHO "Attack is the best means of defence", or "The best means of defence is attack" sound much more natural.

Hairy Scot July 3, 2014, 6:04pm

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Thank you.


Hairy Scot June 23, 2014, 5:18pm

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@Chris B

Apparently FIFA issued a directive that commentators should use Côte d'Ivoire, but I too prefer Ivory Coast.
Then we can call the people Ivory Coasters. :)

Hairy Scot June 21, 2014, 6:38pm

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I would think that "use your head" would be more commonly used than either of the brain versions.
But maybe that's a Scottish thing.


Hairy Scot June 16, 2014, 8:44pm

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Listening to antipodean sports commentators and sport show anchors is very often like hearing fingernails on a blackboard.
At least the utterances of David Coleman, Eddie Waring, and Sid Waddell had a saving grace;
they were/are amusing!

Hairy Scot June 11, 2014, 9:04pm

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"[English] gets you ahead."
should perhaps be
"[English] gets you head."

Hairy Scot June 11, 2014, 8:59pm

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Thanks for the interesting and informative post. :)

Hairy Scot June 9, 2014, 3:43pm

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