Foreboding -- possible eggcorn?

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Aug 16 18:48:51 UTC 2009

On Aug 16, 2009, at 11:07 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> 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,
> uninviting:"

just so.  not an eggcorn at all, but a relatively simple word
confusion.  so treated by Brians
who says in his forbidding/foreboding entry:
   The two are easily confused because some things, like storms, can
be both foreboding and forbidding.

[and of course they are phonologically similar].  so FORBIDDING/
FOREBODING is like FLOUNDER/FOUNDER and a number of other examples.


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