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I see both phrases the other way around and the other way round very often. Which is correct? Please provide usage examples.

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When I hear "the other way round", I hear it as "the other way 'round": note the apostrophe, meaning that it's exactly the same phrase, just with the 'a' of 'around' contracted or elided away. –  Hellion Apr 9 '12 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There may be a transatlantic difference here. The Corpus of Contemporary American English shows that ‘around’ is used almost nine times more than ‘round’. The British National Corpus shows ‘around’ to be used less than one and a half times as much as ‘round’. The OED suggests that ‘around’ might have originally been a British English usage, and that it is now returning under influence from American English. Anyway, the OED shows them to be synonymous.

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True on the transatlantic phenomenon. My American ear tells me "the other way around" is "normal," and that "the other way round" sounds odd - but for you, maybe it's the other way around. Incidentally, I would only use "the other way round" for something directional, e.g., "You have to skate clockwise; you can't skate the other way round the rink." (Obviously, though, that's just how it sounds to me; the references already cited show that either form is acceptable). –  J.R. Apr 9 '12 at 14:58
Unless you want to meet lots of new people, I strongly advise against skating round the rink clockwise... yet linguistically you made your point, and I agree. –  user25395 Aug 27 '12 at 11:19


The other way around is listed as an alternative form.

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