A Texan jail

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 12 03:28:24 UTC 2006

Re "meet market" as a visual pun and not as an eggcorn:

One never knows, do one?


On 7/11/06, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> Subject:      A Texan jail
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article1171393.ece
> 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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