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My current pet peeve: "Based out of"
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2013/08/21
7:25am
AnMa
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This is the phrase that is currently driving me nuts: “based out of.” It seems to be some kind of hellspawn bastard child of “based in” and “out of.” (Maybe “works out of”? That’s still unnecessarily circumlocutive.)

The latest perpetrator of this linguistic outrage is Liz Jones, who filed a story this week for N.P.R.’s Morning Edition, (“U.S. Family Of Ill Prisoner Wants North Korea To Release Him”).

The protagonist of this story, Kenneth Bae, is a tour guide and missionary, who, Jones said, is “based out of China.” NO! If he’s based “out of” China, then he’s based somewhere that’s NOT CHINA. He’s “based IN China.” That’s IN, Ms. Jones, a one-word, two-letter preposition. Why do people reach for the longer, ugly, and WRONG “out of” here?

Gaaahhh! It makes me want to stab someone.

2013/08/21
12:58pm
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RobertB
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Does this sound good? : She conducts business out of a converted garage.
It is the same sense as based out of.

 

2013/08/21
1:56pm
AnMa
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No, it doesn’t sound good.

And it’s ambiguous. Does she conduct business in the garage or is her desk and phone and computer in the garage but her actual business is conducted elsewhere, like at client sites?

I’d still insist on “conducts business in her garage” or “is based in her garage”, depending on which is true.

2013/08/22
4:16am
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tromboniator
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I have no time to reply in depth right now, AnMa, but I agree with you.

Peter

2013/08/22
5:27am
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Glenn
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It doesn’t bother me at all. But I see your point, even if I disagree. I see them as nuanced synonyms, especially in your second example “conducts business in her garage” vs. “conducts business out of her garage”.

As for the stabbing, don’t do anything in anger and don’t do anything out of anger.

2013/08/22
8:42am
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RobertB
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 ‘Out of Africa’ is not same as ‘in Africa,’ though both are all about Africa. Same goes with ‘based out of’ and ‘based in’ – same physical thing, different ideas.

2013/08/22
9:58am
AnMa
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They’re not different ideas at all. They both indicate that the person ‘s base is in X place but that he or she might not spend all his or her working time there. That’s the function if the word “base.” If the person works in a stationary job and never leaves the office, you wouldn’t need to use “base.”

2013/08/22
7:30pm
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Dick
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Your title, ” current pet peeve: based out of” will not get an argument from me, although I don’t share it as a peeve.   But, I will take exception with your opinion of “doing business out of …”   If I sell tacos out of a kiosk you know exactly what is happening and probably would not argue with that terminology. My tacos are being sold at the kiosk and taken somewhere else. But if I sell tacos out of a fast food place, they might not all leave the premises.   Some will, some won’t.   Still, the tacos are going out of my possession and into the customers possession. This is true of almost any business whether it be the sale of goods or services. I might say that I sell insurance policies out of my office on Main St.   I may sell some at the office and some away from the office but all of the policies originate at the office and they all end up out of the office.

In most of these instances the word “from” could be substituted for “out of” and that may please your ear a little more, but this is a very accurate way of expressing the idea with only a couple of words.

2013/08/25
3:18am
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RobertB
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Another example where the choice of preposition makes for different meanings:

The March on Washington.

The march in Washington.

Still, you can bet the house there will be arguments (and valid ones too) that the 2 phrases are the same, or that ‘on Washington’ is incorrect.

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