"hither to that point" (J. Travolta)

Brenda Lester alphatwin2002 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Feb 25 18:59:42 UTC 2008

I caught it but didn't understand it.  Most actors are like sports people--incomprehensible without a script.


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: "hither to that point" (J. Travolta)

Anyone else watching the Oscars? If so, anyone else just hear John
Travolta (in a segment on how academy members like him vote for their
choices) say something to the effect of

"hither to that point"

with reduction to schwa on "to" ("hither tuh that point"), so it was
clearly not "hitherto that point"? The point was a point in time,
and the meaning was quite obviously "up to that point/moment". I've
never heard this and don't see any gloss in the OED or AHD that
really fit this use of "hither", although some of the archaic senses
in the OED approximate it.


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