Three Little Things

I’ve been editing an 80-page report, and I collected a few items I’d like to share with y’all.

1) “Lower down” and “raise up” are redundant; “lower” and “raise” will suffice.
Bad Example: We plan to lower down the packer to a depth of 3,486 ft. Good Example: We plan to lower the packer to a depth of 3,486 ft.

2) If you have a plan for what you intend to do for the next week, you have a 7-day plan, not a 7 days plan. You wouldn’t say you need a 2 inches nail, would you? No, you would say you need a 2-inch nail. If you said you needed “2 inch nail,” you might get two nails that are an inch long, which is not what you need at all, so it’s best to hyphenate the adjective. The same rule applies for the 7-day plan, as you don’t want seven daily plans.
3) There is no such expression as “awaiting for.” You are either awaiting something, or you are waiting for something. Some people say they are “waiting on” something, rather than “waiting for” something.
Example: We are waiting on cement before we start fracturing operations.

Usually, “waiting on” is used for situations where one person is attending to another person’s needs, such as waitresses waiting on tables and servants waiting on the queen hand and foot. However, “waiting on” seems to be used more frequently here in Texas than in my hometown in New York, so it may be a Southern thing like “y’all.”
Webster’s dictionary says (in a usage paragraph under “wait”) that some commentators consider “wait on” to be regional, informal, or incorrect. However, Webster’s own research shows the phrase to be used by such institutions as Harvard and Time magazine, so it’s OK by them.

I would recommend using “waiting for” when standing around doing nothing and “waiting on” when you’re very busy serving somebody; that way there’s no confusion.

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