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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.
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.
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.”
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.