Here! Here! or Hear! Hear!

14 Nov

This isn’t quite a classic Troublesome Pair, in that one of them is definitely correct, and one of them is definitely incorrect – as a result, you only tend to them mixed up in one direction. Well, I’ve never seen them mixed up in the other direction, but I bet someone has!

The phrase I’m talking about is Hear! Hear! What do we see used instead? Here! Here!

The only time you should use Here! Here! is when you’re playing a team sport and want the ball to come over to you, or perhaps if you’re at a lecture and you want someone to notice your hand waving in the air so you can ask your incisive and apt question and make the lecturer feel all upset and silly.  And even then it’s a bit rude to shout out too, if you ask me.

If you’re agreeing with someone and supporting their statement, it’s Hear! Hear! That’s what the MPs are saying in the Houses of Parliament! I know it sounds like Here! Here!, but it isn’t.  I suppose it stands for “I hear you! I hear you!” and maybe that makes it a bit easier to remember.

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs


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7 responses to “Here! Here! or Hear! Hear!

  1. siliconbullet

    November 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Ooh – I have the perfect picture of Ron – just going to e-mail it now!


    • Liz at Libro

      November 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Aha – see what you mean!! Wonder if we can get approval …


  2. Paul Mead

    November 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Yup I can think of someone who has made this mistake. He shall remain unnamed…


    • Liz at Libro

      November 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Well there are an awful lot of people who do it. Now they should all know, if only they’d all read my blog!


  3. Eoin

    August 5, 2015 at 7:38 am

    My understanding is that Hear! Hear! would have come from the imperative of ‘to hear’, imploring those around to hear what is being said to the speaker as opposed to meaning “I hear you”. Something more along the lines of ‘Hear ye! Hear ye!’ but I’m just guessing really.


    • Liz Dexter

      August 5, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Yes, indeed, I would agree. That doesn’t stop people thinking it’s Here! Here! though, unfortunately!



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