"shrew" eggcorn?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Apr 20 17:31:17 UTC 2008

On Apr 20, 2008, at 10:18 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 4/20/2008 12:59 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>> i wasn't claiming to have found some new phenomenon.  just some cases
>> i hadn't been aware of before.  plus "shrew" for "shrewd", which
>> might
>> just be lexicalized t/d-deletion or might be a malapropism (probably
>> not of the eggcorn variety, because it's hard to see a semantic
>> motivation).
> Going back to James Landau's original
>> "Well, you have to give Democrats points for both genuine
>> sentiment and shrew poltiical planning."
> and my (denied) deconstruction, the semantic motivation is clearly to
> disparage Hilary's gender.  And before anyone tells me that according
> to the Authority a shrew can be male, let me quote "3. a. A person,
> esp. (now only) a woman given to railing or scolding or other
> perverse or malignant behaviour; freq. a scolding or turbulent wife."

possibly in this case -- although landau should ask his daughter about
it -- but not in the other cases that i posted.


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

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

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