Professional Style

Hear hear

March 2018
Spot the Error

When the keynote speaker concluded her inspirational remarks, the crowd erupted in applause and calls of “Here here!” and “Brava!”

In the late 17th century, applause was forbidden in British parliament. Instead of clapping when someone agreed with a speaker, he would loudly proclaim, “Hear him!” Over time, this phrase evolved into “hear hear,” having everything to do with the act of hearing and nothing to do with proximity (here).

In the “keynote” sentence above, the response to the speaker should be “Hear hear!”

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