Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Apr 21 22:00:27 UTC 2006

Johannes Fabian reported to me yesterday that in an interview on the
NBC morning news that day, Mary Matalin used the word
"unfortuitously",  but that he couldn't recall enough of the context
to figure out what she meant by it.  i haven't found a report of the
interview on-line.

MWDEU has a fairly long article on "fortuitous" and its development
of a sense 'fortunate' (with, of course, references to the advice
literature), plus a shorter one on the parallel item "fortuitously".

there are a modest number of google hits on "unfortuitous(ly)",
almost all of them clearly with the meaning 'unfortunate(ly)'.  in a
few cases it's possible that the intended meaning combines the
meanings of "unfortunate(ly)" and "fortuitous(ly)", but that's hard
to judge.

what i haven't yet found is an occurrence of "unfortuitous(ly)" with
the meaning 'not accidental(ly)'.


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

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