Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Oct 18 02:22:10 UTC 2005

On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 17:13:21 -0700, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:

>On Oct 17, 2005, at 2:01 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> "Microsoft's position ... cast _dispersions_ on the fairness and
>> objectivity of a  ... state government's process."
>> <> p.4
>more are to be found: ca. 629 raw google web pages.
>neither "aspersion" nor "dispersion" is particularly frequent, but
>the latter has the semantic advantage of having the negative prefix
>"dis-", so this is a candidate for eggcornhood.
>i would have suggested it was a blend, if i could have thought of a
>noun "dis-X" that would fit in the slot "cast dis-Xs on".  maybe
>others are cleverer than i am.

(322 ghits for "cast disparagement", 214 for "cast disparagements".)

Or perhaps it's influenced by the verb "diss"...

--Ben Zimmer

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