"disguised as a"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Jun 22 12:30:29 UTC 2006

Wow!  Such bassackward utterances, of course, are not new.
I commented on "at the expense of" back in 1982 (AS 57:203),
and other examples have come up in discussions on this
list.  But Joel's example is especially flagrant:  The
failure to distinguish between the passive participle and
its active counterpart, "disguised" vs. "disguising."

I wonder if Homeland Security's airport inspectors get
confused in that same way?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 22:32:23 -0400
>From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>Subject: "disguised as a"
>Heard today (twice) on a radio station that takes news
snippets from multiple sources:  An interview with Brian
Ross, of ABC News, in which he said, talking about the
alleged recently-thwarted Al Qada plots to take over
airplanes, the terrorists planned to carry on board "cameras
disguised as bombs".
>My image--threaten to blow up the plane with what looks
like a bomb unless you are allowed into the cockpit to take

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

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