I Absolutely Don’t Want To Hear The Wrong ‘Hear, Hear’ Here

I Absolutely Don’t Want To Hear The Wrong ‘Hear, Hear’ Here

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.


      • It may well have been me, having changed my usage to “here, here” from “hear, hear” after thinking (but not investigating) about its Etymology many years ago.

        My version, knowing that it derived from British Parliament, was thus:
        British Politicians in agreeance with whoever was at the box would shout out “Here, here” as if to say “here is another supporter“.
        Apparently (according to Grammarist.com, because Angus was too “angry” to include the actual expansion in his article) they were saying:
        hear him, hear him

        Personally, I still think my faux-Etymology makes far more sense than the actual!

        • Agreed, just another elitist slap in the face for the readers of this site.
          Honestly Angus, I can understand your wanting to improve peoples education, I just don’t think this is the venue for it. Too many twits will take it as a weapon to stab those with a lesser education, or even just a bad memory! Oh, and by the way, the amount of articles posted that have abysmal Grammar is appalling, maybe fix those first.

          • How is this being elitist? It’s a perfectly worthwhile Lifehacker article in that it provides advice in the correct usage of a commonly uttered phrase. Better to learn these lessons of grammar here than be made to look completely foolish when you submit a job application or business letter replete with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. I don’t care if you have gaps in your existing education. I DO care if you think that’s enough of an excuse to do nothing in the future to improve yourself or, even worse, to deride others who may want to learn (or teach, as in this case), these basic skills. I suspect you probably value learning a number of skills in order to make you look less of a noob’ in various online activities (online gaming, discussion forums, social media, etc), so what’s wrong swallowing your pride and accepting some shortfalls in your language skills – particularly when they can have a fairly profound impact on your day to day life?

            Just sayin’ 🙂

          • That’s a hell of a rant there dude! When I first started reading this site and Giz there were a lot of twits who where correcting other peoples Grammar instead of just reading the comments for what they are. To them it was fun to pull the commenter down for Grammar mistakes rather that either just shut up, or reply to the comment constructively, they were Elitist. Since then, the incidence of over the shoulder teaching has dropped dramatically and I also note the amount of trolling has dropped. My education is adequate for my purposes and that’s because I put the effort in to make it so. For the most part I think I convey my self at a reasonable level considering my education. I don’t need some twit correcting my writing. So here’s the BIG point! Shut up and just read the comments for what they are! This is NOT a bloody class room!! And Angus, if you even bother to read this. I am genuinely very happy to see you teach and I must say I did not know about the ‘hear, hear’ thing, but I do believe this is the wrong venue for it, mainly because of comments like the one from “shanby” there. Please tell me that you have noticed the drop in incidence of rude people correcting other peoples Grammar rather than just reply to the commenter?

          • Just because you have left the classroom behind you, doesn’t mean that accuracy is any less important out here in the real world. Also, if you don’t feel like learning something that may improve your grasp and use of our terribly confusing language, then don’t read the articles, don’t try and force others to miss out on something because you don’t want it…

          • Please point out at which point in any of my comments where I have tried to ‘force’ others to miss anything? And I can assure you I have definitely not left any classroom.
            As I have mentioned before, Articles are written to be commented on and I have as much a right to comment on them, whether I like the content or not, as anybody else. This is a comments site not a read only site! If you look at the content and remove your vitriol, you will see that my concern is having someone peer over anyone’s virtual shoulder and then point out that they made a mistake. That is just plain rude! These people read comments simply to point out mistakes and comment on the mistake and not the content! I have no issue with learning new things, I just don’t believe this is the forum for this stuff. On top of that, just the way the Article is titled is just plain inflammatory.
            “I Absolutely Don’t Want To Hear The Wrong ‘Hear, Hear’ Here”

    • Good to see that the load of you watch parliament question time huh? You know stuff that has an effect on us all is debated by those bunch of clots. Like… oh I dunno… NBN!!!

  • … You realize how many articles get at least 5-10 posts pointing out extremely basic lack of proof checking errors, here Gizmodo and kotaku get.. Right?

  • Interesting.
    I was actually unsure about that (not curious enough to look it up though).
    I had wondered whether it was:
    Hear, hear! – Saying listen to this
    Here, here! – Saying here is someone who agrees, or even
    Hear here! – Saying everyone listen to this.

  • There, there. Certes, the swinking of prescriptive grammarians to forestall unright neologisms from corrupting our puir tunge is ofttimes an uphill struggle.

  • @Timmahh
    I though the title of the article was excellent.
    And if you “have a right” to comment on the article, then Angus “has a right” to publish the article on LH.

    For people making grammar mistakes, having someone else tell them is likely the ONLY way they can learn about it. Unless someone writes articles that address no single person in particular, of course…

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