home/hone switch

Stahlke, Herbert F.W. hstahlke at BSU.EDU
Fri Aug 27 01:37:24 UTC 2004


The reason I think it might be a typo, or possibly, as Arnold pointed out, a hypercorrection, is that home substitutes for hone in the sense of sharpen, not hone for home, in the more familiar new usage.  I googled "home(game OR skills)" and got no examples of such a phrase out of the first hundred or so hits.

It looks like a nonce, a typo, or a hypercorrection.



>That, or simply a typo.

Well, considering the 35,700 google hits for "hone in on", only a
small number of which are "watch your language" sites, I don't think
we're at the "simply a typo" stage anymore.  My favorite (no, I
didn't go through all 45K) is this one, from (believe it or not)

This is the Skillswise Glossary, where you'll find the meaning of
difficult words used on this website.
hone in

To focus on. (phrasal verb)

Example:The detectives honed in on the suspect.


>On Aug 25, 2004, at 11:07 AM, Stahlke, Herbert F.W. wrote:
>>  Using "hone" for "home" in expressions like "home in on" has been
>>  common
>>  for at least two decades.  The MWDEU's earliest citation is from
>>  H. W. Bush in 1978, so it must have been around a good bit before
>>  Today, however, I came across my first instance of "home" for "hone",
>>  in
>>  the sense of "sharpen"...
>>  "Questions about the pair's Olympic chances arose in June, shortly
>>  after
>>  May pulled an abdominal muscle.  She spent most of the summer
>>  while Walsh kept homing her game with other partners."
>>  Is this a nonce instance, or are "home" and "hone" trading places?
>my guess -- only a guess -- is that this a hypercorrection: a writer
>who kept getting flak about "hone in on" became suspicious of *all*
>occurrences of "hone".
>arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list