word finding

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Apr 11 21:08:38 UTC 2006

On Apr 9, 2006, at 11:02 AM, sagehen wrote:

>  arnold writes..........
>> 3.  and then an odd (to me) word choice, from MTV's Real World gay
>> guy Tyler, interviewed in Instinct magazine, April 2006, p. 21: "I
>> was the most athletic person in the house, which is kind of a
>> dichotomy to have the most athetic guy being the gay guy."
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Maybe he was thinking "anomaly,"  if he supposes it to be odd for a
> gay to
> be athletic.

ah, "anomaly" is a good suggestion.  odd word choices tend to make my
mind turn to jelly, so that i can't think of what *i* might say in
these circumstances.

"anomaly" isn't as phonologically similar to "dichotomy" as most
classical malapropisms are to their (missed) targets, but
prosodically they're a perfect match, and they have the same stressed
vowel and final segment, so that's not so bad.  and of course they're
both serious academic-sounding words.

but i doubt that Tyler himself supposes it's odd for a gay guy to be
athletic.  almost surely, though, he believes -- as do i -- that a
lot of other people think so.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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