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aloud or out loud?

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aloud or out loud?

Postby Billie » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:04 am

My friend always corrects me that I shouldn't use aloud, that it isn't right, that I should use out loud. Is it wrong to use aloud?

If it isn't can I get an example to show my friend? She likes to think she is a grammer pro and nitpicks mine all of the time. :?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:25 am

Well, I think it's the other way around.

Out loud was once widely decried as an error for aloud, and it is still sometimes described as a colloquialism to be avoided in formal writing. Its first recorded use was in the early 19h century:

Lord Andover in the presence of Lord and Lady Suffolk and speaking out loud - Maria Edgeworth, letter, 1921 (OED Supplement)

Its heyday as an object of criticism came about a hundred years later, when American commentators such as MacCracken & Sandison 1717, Ball 1923, Woolley & Scott 1926, and Krapp 1927 routinely prescribed against it in their books. While its notoriety has dimished, it still survives as a usage topic in composition textbooks for high school and college students and in Garner 1998.

Our abundant written evidence for out loud shows clearly that it is not a colloquialism. We would agree that aloud is more likely in solemn writing (Garner says it is much more frequent), but in general use the two terms are essentially interchangeable:

She read it aloud to my classmates - Russell Baker, Growing Up, 1982

He was reading my words out loud to the entire class - Russell Baker, Growing Up, 982

... being permitted to think aloud with friends and colleagues - Bruce Dearing, CEA Forum, April 1971

... afraid to let themsedlves or others think out loud - Nehemiah Jordan, Themes in Speculative Psychology, 1968

A distinctive and exclusive use of out loud is in the idiom "for crying out loud!". It is also preferred to aloud following the verb laugh:

... Mazeppa makes him laugh out loud - Robert Craft, N. Y. Rev. of Books, 25 Feb. 1971

He laughed out loud - E. L. Doctorow, Loon Lake, 1979


From Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage

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Postby Billie » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:22 pm

Thank you Brazilian dude, you've just made my day! :)
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:09 am

Oh, for crying out loud; it is allowed! :wink:

The American Heritage Dictionary has entries for both words, although I'm not sure I see a real difference.

aloud

ADVERB: 1. With use of the voice; orally: Read this passage aloud. 2. In a loud tone; loudly: crying aloud for help.



out loud

ADVERB: Loud enough to be audible; aloud: read the poem out loud.


I think there may be a connotation to out loud that makes it a stronger, or louder, manner than aloud, so these words are used in different situations. For instance, one of the definitions of the word out as an adverb is:

10. Without inhibition; boldly: Speak out.



For example, the statement:

She read the book aloud to the class.


is not as strong as the command:

Read it out loud so everyone can hear!
Regards//Larry

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Postby Apoclima » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:11 am

I think you are right, Larry. "Out loud" definitely sounds stronger than "aloud."

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Postby mamawsandy » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:10 pm

Oh me! I think I am back in grammar class. Man, you guys are good. I expect to learn something here. Y'all keep this up and I might be able to write my book.
mamawsandy :lol:
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:23 pm

Will my name show in the credits?

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