Based Out Of or Off Of

Today we shall consider the appropriate prepositions to follow the word “based.”

Bad Example:
Our support team is based out of our Houston office.

No, the support team is based in the Houston office. The home base is in the office, which is in Houston.

“Based out of” can cause confusion. For example, if an online company is based out of Texas, they won’t have to charge sales tax to Texas residents who purchase products from their website; however, if the company is based in Texas, they will have to charge them sales tax.

Corrected Example:
Our support team is based in our Houston office.

More Bad Examples:
This method is based off of the Clapperdingen theory.
This method is based around the Clapperdingen theory.

If you consider what a base is, it is the foundation upon with something else stands. So if something is based, it must be based on something, not around it, not off of it.

Corrected Example:
This method is based on the Clapperdingen theory.

By the way, there is no such thing as the Clapperdingen theory. Go ahead and Google it – zero hits.
I am open to entertaining some interesting and/or humorous definitions for it, however, and will be happy to share them with the Peanut Gallery. Be creative!


Funny Typo of the Day:

Management of chance (the author really meant “management of change”)
I would love to meet somebody who had the ability to manage chance!


Profound Quote of the Day:

1. “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
2. – Plato, Greek philosopher, 427–347 BC


3 Responses to “Based Out Of or Off Of”

  1. petrocomputing Says:

    From fellow technical writer Jeannie Stell:
    I usually save a word or two by using Houston-based Alerian Co., Tulsa-based football team, or logic-based assumption.

  2. petrocomputing Says:

    From Lori in Qatar:
    Jeanne, the Clapperdingen theory exists, and you can prove this by clapping your hands (clap-on) and your door bell will ring. This theory is not widely known in the Middle East, but your US readers over the age of 45 will be familiar with this theory.

    Lori Rorstad I Human Resources I Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Limited

  3. Sheila Says:

    Actually – I get three hits — all of which point to this article!! 🙂

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