[Ads-l] Heard, again: "dekkid"; also "on _the_ average"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 25 18:19:02 EST 2016

On Sun, Dec 25, 2016 at 4:24 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:

> Does "on the average" seem strange?

Well. yes and no. Yes, because I've found this usage to be *extremely*
rare! And no, because "on _the_ average" was, during my lost youth, the
standard, as is still the case with "on _the_ whole." It was succeeded,
IME, by the nonsensical "on _an_ average." WTF?! Are there random averages
from among which one is free to choose?

The contemporary "on average" is like saying "on whole" and not "on the
whole." "On average" peeves me. But, so what? There's no stopping

IAC, it was pleasantly surprising to hear "on the average," again, after
lo, so many dekkids.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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