Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Feb 15 16:20:45 UTC 2008

On Feb 15, 2008, at 7:50 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> In his prepared public statement on yesterday's campus shootings,
> NIU President John Peters described the outpouring of public
> sympathy as "renewing and heart-rendering."  He used the word "heart-
> rendering" in this connection twice within one minute.
>  This is the first time I've heard "heart-rendering" [sic] used as a
> synomnym for "moving; heart-warming."

discussion on Language Log back in April:

   ML, 4/21/07: 3-D heart rendering:

lots of google hits, and complaints back at least to 1987.  here's one

Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1993):

   The real adjective is heartrending, meaning “heart-tearing” or
“heartbreaking” and hence “grief-causing.” Heart-rendering is a nonce
word, possibly a malapropism, but more likely a deliberate jocularity.

[given the evidence, it looks like it's mostly a malapropism]


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