"time after again"

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Dec 12 23:34:46 UTC 2000

I've been collecting syntactic blends for some time, including (maybe
especially) slips of the tongue.  On Sunday, Dec. 10 I heard one that
I immediately jotted down.
   Al Gore's attorney, David Boies, was being interviewed on Meet the
Press and was making the point that something to do with the
recounting of votes is in no way out of the ordinary. As he put it,
"It happens time after again," corrected immediately to "time after
time."  His "time after again" is a blend most likely of "time and
again"  (itself a blend; from "time after time" and "again and again"
and "time after time."
   Boies slip of the tongue was probably facilitated by the "a-" in
"after" ("time after time)  and "and" ("time and again"). In other
words, we likely deal with multiple causation in Boies' slip.
    It's possible, of course, to see his "time after again" being
simply a blend of "time after time" and "again and again."

   Incidentally, when I just called up my day's e-mail I was surprised
to see that I had somehow sent an ads-l message which merely repeats
an earlier ads-l message on "to_____slap."  I'm not sure just what
happened here and assume I must have pressed a wrong button.

___Gerald Cohen

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