"salary commiserate with experience"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jun 10 22:21:44 UTC 2006

Understandable, perhaps, as one might commisrate with someone who had
been humiliated?


At 6/10/2006 04:54 PM, you wrote:
> >I was listening to an audiobook version of Sue Grafton's most recent
> >Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery, _S is for Silence_, when I was
> >stopped short by the reader saying the following:
> >
> >===============
> >He didn't feel it yet, the shame, but he would very soon, once the
> >liquor wore off.  He knew his humiliation was COMMISERATE WITH his
> >joy, but the joy had been fleeting while the rage would burn at his
> >core like the fire in the bowels of a coal mine, year after year.
> >===============
> >[emphasis added; "commiserate" was pronounced with a schwa in the
> >unstressed final syllable, as of course "commensurate" would be]
> >
> >So I checked the written text, and sure enough, the line appears
> >exactly as written above. Typo?  Reanalysis?  If it was the former
> >and the reader recognized it as such, why not read the sentence as
> >"commensurate with", which would certainly be a more orthodox way of
> >expressing it?  Was the reader just trying to be faithful to
> >authorial intent, or did she assume it was standard usage?  A
> >mystery, to be sure.
>Intentional, accidental or eggcornic, this one's a beaut.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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