A Texan jail
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Wed Jul 12 00:00:58 UTC 2006
Cahal Milmo "Texan jail awaits bankers accused of £11m fraud"
The Independent [191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS], July 11, 2006
The above headline sounds odd to American ears---we would say "a Texas jail" but "a Scottish gaol". A "Texan jail" presumably is one where the guards drive Cadillacs and there is an oil well in the exercise yard (as opposed to a "Texas jail", which is on the top passenger deck of a steamboat).
Two further items of dialect interest:
"The Houston Federal Detention Centre is a place where no visitor to Texas would choose to linger. But in less than 72 hours, three Britons will enter its forbidding walls as the unlikely pawns in a battle to define American power over British citizens.
Lawyers for the three former bankers known as the NatWest Three confirmed yesterday that the men will complete on Thursday their fast-track extradition to America to face charges relating to an £11m fraud involving the collapsed US giant Enron."
I doubt that the Houston Detention facility is regularly referred to in print
as a "Centre", and I was under the impression that "NatWest Three" and similar names were restricted to the US (didn't they arise in the later stages of the Civil Rights Movement?)
Overheard at work, in reference to North Korea: "but if the UN decides to do something, China will outvote it". The word should have been "veto". I don't know if this should be classified as an eggcorn---this particular speaker is dumb enough not to know the difference.
The other day someone (Wilson Gray?) mentioned the eggcorn "meet market." I would tend to classify this one not as an eggcorn but as a deliberate play on words. It reminds me of the following circa-1980 conversation, in reference to a Jewish singles group:
"It'a a meat market"
"Yes, but it's a Kosher meat market"
- Jim Landau
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