Had a curious email from amazon this morning. Apparently there have been complaints about FIRE IN THE BLOOD – curiously, not about the amount of swearing or the actions of a certain DI, but the use of the word “outwith”.
Outwith –
This is a word I use all the time. It seems to be a Scots word, meaning the opposite of within, e.g. “The dilithium crystals are operating outwith their usual parameters, Captain”. I’ve no idea how non-Scots cope without this word – without doesn’t work, does it?
Strange. Anyway, I’ve told them to add it to their master dictionary. Let’s see if they do.
— Ed

3 Responses

  1. Hi Ed,
    I’ve had a look in my weighty Oxford Dictionary of English and it lists Outwith. The definition says: preposition, Scottish, outside; beyond; e.g. he has lived outwith Scotland for only five years.
    So, perfectly acceptable usage in a Scottish novel. Carry on, eh, like, you ken?

  2. Ah – that explains why my Englsh colleagues thought it was an odd word to use in reports – & use it often, I do. Loving the books – altho some of the Eastern Scots dialect is a bit of mystery to us Weegies!

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