24 April 2013

On the other hand, alone

Question: Is it legitimate to say "On the other hand, …" in a text where you have not first used "On the one hand, …"?

Answer: The generalization that "on the other hand" always needs a matching instance of "on (the) one hand" preceding it is simply false.

For more, see this post on the Language Log.

1 comment:

  1. Another purist legend. I've long used "on the other hand" on its own, treating "on the one hand" as implied in what precedes it.

    ReplyDelete

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