This morning I heard an NPR journalist say in elegant, educated accents that Julian Assange “has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.”
When I looked at the NPR site, I saw that a copy editor had changed “holed up” to “hiding out” in the transcript.
Other news sources don’t seem to see anything inappropriate about using the expression in their own publications.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors want to question him about 2010 allegations that he raped one woman and sexually molested another.
The Huffington Post
With British police still surrounding the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he is holed up, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange joined an international conference call Wednesday to speak out about his complicated and seemingly intractable diplomatic and legal saga.
Julian Assange could spend years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in a bid to dodge extradition to Sweden, an expert said today.
Wikileaks founder holed up in Ecuadorian embassy in UK capital says he believed interrogation on rape and molestation claims was to go ahead.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition.
Los Angeles Times
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suggested at a news conference Monday that he could soon be leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been holed up for two years to avoid extradition to Sweden.
It seems to me that this use of “holed up” to refer to human beings who are hiding or sheltering somewhere is slang, suitable enough in informal speech or dialogue, but totally out of place in formal writing and reporting.
Here are some possible alternatives, at least for Assange:
…has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been concealing himself in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been secreting himself in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been sheltering in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been taking cover in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
…has been lying low in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years.
Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily!
Keep learning! Browse the Expressions category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:
Stop making those embarrassing mistakes! Subscribe to Daily Writing Tips today!
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!