Hear Hear

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So you know how, when you want to express enthusiasm or agreement with something someone else has said and you yell out “hear, hear!”?

Hmm. Or do you yell out “here, here!”?

I suppose if you yell it out, it doesn’t matter if you’re yelling “hear, hear” or “here, here” because “hear” and “here” are homophones, or words that are spelled differently, have different meanings, but sound the same.

And, just for the record, “homophones” and “homophobes” are spelled differently and have different meanings. But while they have a similar sound, they don’t sound the same, as do “hear” and “here.” So please don’t yell at me for being insensitive and using the term “homophones” in this post. I’m not Mike Pence, you know.

But I digress. This “hear, hear” versus “here, here” matter is not something I wondered about very often because I was confident in my knowledge that “hear, hear!” was correct. Besides, how likely am I to ever use that specific expression in my writing?

But I have seen other people write “here, hear!” or “hear, here!” or even “here, here!” and I began to question my knowledge regarding this exclamation. Which combination of these two similar sounding but different meaning words is correct? Could I be wrong?

So I Googled it and I am pleased to say that I can savor this moment. The correct answer is “hear, hear!” Damn I’m good.

According to the website, Grammarist, “Hear, hear is the conventional spelling of the colloquial exclamation used to express approval for a speaker or sentiment. It’s essentially short for ‘hear him, hear him’ or ‘hear this, hear this,’ where these phrases are a sort of cheer.”

“Here, here,” however, “is widely regarded as a misspelling, although it is a common one.” It can be used appropriately, though, when calling your dog to come to where you are, as in “Fido, here, here!.” It doesn’t work with cats.

Where did this exclamation originate? Well, according to a Wikipedia article, the source is the Hebrew Bible, Samuel II 20:16: “Then cried a wise woman out of the city: ‘Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab: Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.’”

An alternative theory, also noted in Wikipedia, suggests that the phrase “hear him, hear him!” was used in the British Parliament from late in the 17th century. It was later reduced to “hear!” or “hear, hear!” by the late 18th century.

And you know what? This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about this topic.

Can I get a “Hear, Hear!”?

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10 thoughts on “Hear Hear

  1. Sight11 July 16, 2017 / 7:32 am

    Here, here
    damm phone autocorrect feature,…. Hear, Hear
    Yup that’s better…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor July 16, 2017 / 9:01 am

    I often savor your posts, because you sir always put your best foot forward to explain things so well. Homophones, what an interesting word. My take on this is, and I know it differs with Wikipedia, so I might be way off base, but I view ‘hear, hear’ as a soap boxing phrase used when people are grandstanding. They want to call attention to themselves and have people gather around, so they can sell their wares. Those damn cats never listen to me either. That Joab a nephew of David, boy could I make up some stories about that wild and crazy guy and the time he battled those Hittites.

    • Fandango July 16, 2017 / 9:59 am

      I tend to think “Hear ye, Hear ye!” is what someone standing on a soapbox might shout out. It’s more of a call to attention than “Hear, Hear,” which is a shout of agreement or concurrence. But that’s just how I see it. It’s open to all kinds of interpretations, just like the stories from the Bible.

      Like

  3. Sandi July 16, 2017 / 10:41 am

    So weird – just yesterday, I let my daughter text from my phone and she was trying to figure out how to spell “here” – so I explained to her. Do you know how to spell ear? (Gawd yes, mom – rolling eyes) well, when you want to indicate you hear someone it Hear with an Ear. (same spelling) Here is location – think of where? Here. (WEAR?) – no – nevermind. scratch that Always remember “I hear with an ear” and that will help you determine which here/hear to use.

    Oh, and hear ye, hear ye – has been replaced in today’s world… it’s “Can I get what- what”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael July 16, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    Hear hear I say too….I hear it uttered in our Parliment from time to time on the rare occasion someone actually says something intelligent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. myageofaquarius July 16, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    Hear, hear! This was fantastic! I enjoy learning about stuff like this. Thanks, Sight for your insight. 🙊*snicker*

    Liked by 1 person

  6. myageofaquarius July 16, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Sorry Fandango 😔 I meant to address that to you. I’m on my phone as opposed to my laptop where I usually am when @ WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 16, 2017 / 10:24 pm

      No worries. I mostly use my iPhone for my blog (composing posts, reading, and commenting), so I know how easy it is on the small screen to get things a little screwy.

      Like

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