coordination gone awry

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Jun 2 18:01:13 UTC 2006

from Susie Fork, "California Oakmoths at Elkhorn Slough", on the
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve site:


So, although the oak moths can periodically wreak havoc on certain
trees, oaks and oak moths have been coevolving for a long time and
can be viewed as one of the many conspicuous insects of the Reserve.


[Elkhorn Slough is located near Moss Landing, on the Monterey Bay
between Santa Cruz and Monterey.  I've been there, on a tour by boat;
it's a fascinating place.  As for the oak moths, we've been
exceptionally afflicted by them this year -- caterpillars, masses of
cocoons, and now the moths.  Ick.]

You can see how she got into this: the sentence is mostly about the
oak moths, and "oak moths" is the most recent NP that could serve as
the subject of "can be viewed as..."  nevertheless, we end up with
oak trees (along with oak moths) as one of the many conspicuous
insects of the slough.

"slough" is pronounced "slew", by the way.

arnold (zwicky at

The American Dialect Society -

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