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    #1

    routinely, very often, as a rule

    In the following sentence:
    Health and safety rules are routinely ignored on the building site.
    routinely means very often. Can I replace routinely with as a rule?
    Because as a rule also means sth happens usually.

    Looking forward to your explanation.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: routinely, very often, as a rule

    Don't make that replacement.

    For one thing, it would then read: Health and safety rules are ignored as a rule on the building site.

    If nothing else, it's very awkward to talk about rules being ignored as a rule.

    The better reason is that "as a rule" doesn't mean "it's a rule (an instruction) to do something" it means "If you guess, you will probably be right if you guess this way."

    If you really wanted to use that phrase, you could say something like "As a rule, you'll be able to see plenty of health and safety violations at this site."

    It means "I think it's likely you'll see this."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: routinely, very often, as a rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    ...

    It means "I think it's likely you'll see this."
    I'm afraid 'routinely' is quite often abused in this way (often by people who want to give the impression of knowing more than they do. )

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    #4

    Re: routinely, very often, as a rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Don't make that replacement.

    For one thing, it would then read: Health and safety rules are ignored as a rule on the building site.

    If nothing else, it's very awkward to talk about rules being ignored as a rule.

    The better reason is that "as a rule" doesn't mean "it's a rule (an instruction) to do something" it means "If you guess, you will probably be right if you guess this way."

    If you really wanted to use that phrase, you could say something like "As a rule, you'll be able to see plenty of health and safety violations at this site."

    It means "I think it's likely you'll see this."
    Sorry, I still don't understand completely what you've said. In the dictionary, as a rule means sth happens usually. Do routinely and as a rule share the same meaning?

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    #5

    Re: routinely, very often, as a rule

    Yes, they are generally interchangeable. But do not use "as a rule" (because it's not really a rule to break the actual written rules) when talking about actual rules (safety rules.)

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