sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Thu Aug 25 02:37:02 UTC 2005

>At 8:41 AM -0700 8/24/05, Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>>As far as I remember, all the citations of this cavalry/Calvary confusion
>>seem to involve use of the latter where the former is meant.
>That's my sense too, and I suspect (without knowing enough
>phonetics/phonology to support the suspicion) that "calvary" is
>easier to say (at least for English speakers) in some relevant sense
>than "cavalry".  That being said (as hesitantly as I could manage to
>say it), I'm not sure there are such metatheses when no prior word of
>the other form exists (e.g. with "calvacade"  for "cavalcade"),
>although arguably the phonology between these pairs is different
>enough to matter.
>Some empirical data:  9930 googlits for "calvacade"...
>but also 113 for "Cavaldos" (which sounds like it should refer to
>apple brandy one sips on horseback)
I wonder if this (cavalry/Calvary) is a case where literacy is part of what
trips the tongue, that somehow the awareness of those letters (a,l,v,a  or
a,v,a,l ...hmmmm, which is it?) is behind it.  Something similar happens
with "integral" though in that case there is no "intregal" to change places
with, those letters just seem to want to mix themselves up.  It would be
interesting to know if the illiterate are better at keeping the sounds
Just my WAG.
A. Murie

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