You hear something, you misunderstand it, you use a homonym when you write it down, and so we end up here: with another Mind Your Language rebuke. Yes, this week we’re talking about the much-abused ‘hear, hear’.
The Macquarie Dictionary defines ‘hear, hear’ as “an exclamation of agreement, support, assent”. Simple enough really. The Wikipedia entry notes its origins in the UK House of Commons, which reminds us that it’s a commandment to listen, not an expression relating to place.
Yet you don’t have to look far at all to find people writing ‘here, here’ instead, which makes no sense and is simply wrong. No need for a long harangue here: learn the correct version if you want to use this phrase in written form. Accuracy matters.
Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.