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Based on the question: *What words can I use outside of "sourpuss" or "Debbie Downer"?

Beside some other misspelling in its full title, I understand what the OP's outside of means, but it sounds to me as if something is coming out of a "sourpuss"! So I edited the title, replacing the word outside of with beside. Soon it was re-edited (from beside) into other than.

Both of beside and other than sound fine to me, but outside of does not.

Is what I understand is correct (that outside of should be avoided in this case)? or it already is a correct usage?

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outside of is perfectly fine in this case. It may be of a slightly lower register than alternatives like "other than" but it is often used in the same register as expressions like north of meaning more than.

outside of : except for something; besides something. Outside of the cost of my laundry, I have practically no expenses. Outside of some new shoes, I don't need any new clothing.

I think my preferred translation in this case would be: other than

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As the one who made the change from beside to other than, let me explain my reasoning.

There is sometimes a bit confusion about the two words beside and besides. As one website says:

Writers sometimes confuse the words beside and besides.

The word beside is a preposition. It means "close to" or "next to." "

Examples: Come and sit beside me. Your hat is beside the dog basket.

The preposition besides means in addition to or apart from. As an adverb, it means "furthermore" or and "another thing."

Examples: Besides Craig, who else caught a bass? Besides, it's not just about determination.

Now, before you hit the downvote button, I understand there are two sides to this argument:

"Some critics argue that beside and besides should be kept distinct when they are used as prepositions. According to that argument, beside is used only to mean 'at the side of,' as in There was no one in the seat beside me. For the meanings 'in addition to' and 'except for' besides should be used: Besides replacing the back stairs, she fixed the broken banister. No one besides Smitty would say a thing like that. But this distinction is often ignored, even by widely respected writers. While it is true that besides can never mean 'at the side of,' beside regularly appears in print in place of besides. Using beside in this way can be ambiguous, however; the sentence There was no one beside him at the table could mean that he had the table to himself or that the seats next to him were not occupied." ("besides," The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., 2000)

In any case, I thought the question would have been better using besides instead of beside, even if there is some precedent for using the two interchangably.

What words can I use beside/besides "a sourpuss" and "a Debbie Downer"?

However, rather than changing beside to besides, and opening that can of worms, I decided to use other than instead, which I thought read better than either one.

What words can I use other than "a sourpuss" and "a Debbie Downer"?

  • Thank you very much. I indeed agree that other than is the better choice. I might actually use it myself if I was the original writer of that title. Perhaps it was the influence of outside that made me thought of beside first. The fine point between beside and besides is also a good thing to know. It is really useful. – Damkerng T. Nov 25 '13 at 16:44

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