Posted by: gdevi | June 2, 2010

Hear, hear

I am not a stickler for prescriptive grammar but meaningless usages simply astound me. Occasionally I get emails from people — usually on list servs and such bulletin board like outfits — I got one today– where they signal their agreement with what is said by someone as “here here.” Why do you do that? The correct expression to signify agreement is “hear, hear” — as in “hey listen to this profound thing that is being said here.” The concept is agreeing with something “heard” and a grammatically imperative invitation to you to agree with it as well — “hear, hear!” Why do you use “here, here”? The most common and correct use of “here” is as an adverb, as in “Drop the bomb here.” Or “here there and everywhere.” Sometimes it is a noun as in “from here to eternity.” But it is an adverb of place. It is not a verb. And the invitation to agree must syntactically be a “verb” and not an adverb. Sometimes “here” is an interjection — as in “here, let me help you carry that bomb.” While it is true that “here” and “hear” are homophones, once we know the meaning, we must use the words correctly. It is simply beyond me why you would confuse “hear” with “here.” It is absolutely meaningless.


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