Foreboding -- possible eggcorn?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Aug 16 18:07:48 UTC 2009

In the "Sports Log" column of the Boston Globe today:

Armstrong takes win in Leadville

Lance Armstrong left the rest of the field in the mud just 35 miles
into the lung-searing Leadville (Colo.) 100 mountain bike race,
winning the nation's highest-altitude endurance test in record time.
Despite racing through freezing rain at the start, which made it
difficult to shift gears on the foreboding descents on a flat back
tire for the final 10 miles, Armstrong shaved nearly 17 minutes off
the record, winning in 6 hours 28 minutes 50 seconds.

While "foreboding" can mean *from sense 2. of the verb) "[Feeling] a
secret premonition of, [having] a presentiment of (usually evil);
anticipat[ing], apprehend[ing] beforehand.", it seems wrong here --
the descents were not having presentiments or anticipating something.

I assume this is a confusion with "forbidding" = " 2. esp. That
forbids, or disinclines to, a nearer approach; repellent, repulsive,

For the misspelling "forebidding", MS Word suggest forbidding,
foreboding, and fore bidding in that order.
For the misspelling "forboding", MS Word suggest foreboding,
forbidding, and for boding in that order.

So this does not seem to be a Cupertino effect -- the first suggested
respellings are the correct spellings for the "bid" and "bode"
alternatives.  Unless the writer took the second respelling choice
for "forebidding"!


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list