January 26, 2006

hover around

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:55 am by Feng

hover around — stay nearby

I attended a seminar yesterday afternoon. The presentation, by Prof David, was on new challenges in bioinformatics. It is was such a stimulating talk that a lot of people asked questions in the Q&A session. Due to time constraint, the host had to cut short and announced, “Prof Davd will hover around for a while. You can talk to him any time after the seminar.” Alternatively, one could also say: “he will stay around for a while”. But it doesn’t sound native.


  1. Saar Drimer said,

    Either you put the full name of the professor with a link to his web page or don’t mention names at all.
    To me, “hover around” also means that they can fly away any second… so there is no guarantee as to the time they will “stick around.”

  2. Feng said,

    Well, this blog is on learning the language. I refrain from writing anything irrelevnt, except if it really helps explain the background of the phrase usage. The use of the name David is easy enough for me to write a consistent story, and obsure enough for anyone — except me — to find out who he is. This is because the real idenitiy is irrelevant to the theme.

    But apart from that, I think your comment of “fly away” is right.

  3. Saar Drimer said,

    I believe it is bad style to refer to someone by partial name as if assuming he or she is known to the reader. Saying “Prof. David” implies that I, the reader, is familiar with him and his work. This is analogous to a situation where you refer to a work done by a famous contributor in front of people from their respective field… someone not from “the field” would feel alienated and at a disadvantage for not knowing the obvious “Prof. David.”

    As I see it, there are two ways to remedy this if the full name is not germane to the article:
    1. Not use the name at all… “The presentation was on new challenges in bioinformatics.” (preferred)
    2. If the use of a name helps with the flow… “The presentation, by a professor named David, was on new challenges in bioinformatics.”

    I respect your opinion, I just disagree with it.

  4. Feng said,

    cool 🙂

  5. vdovault said,

    Amercians also will say ‘hang around’ and mean the same thing as ‘hover around’ or ‘wait around’ 🙂

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