levy X at

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Mar 20 13:10:51 UTC 2009

while searching for something completely different, I came across this
instance of "levy barbs at", which struck me as odd:

   After Jon Stewart skewered CNBC's Jim Cramer on Monday night's
Daily Show, Cramer had to defend himself—and levy some barbs at Stewart
—on the Today Show as well as MSNBC's Morning Joe yesterday.

i wasn't able to find any more examples of "levy ... barbs at" beyond
this one.  but i did find 35 examples of "levy criticism at" people or
things, among them:

   It's simple to sit here 25 years later and levy criticism at Reagan.
   commenter on: http://www.alarmingnews.com/archives/004256.html

   "If they had sat back over the last few years and done nothing,
then perhaps you could levy criticism at them," said Gorol.

   Besides making it fashionable to levy criticism at events like the
All-Star game before they even occur the culture of negativity has in
and of itself created a severe images problems for the NHL.

the OED to the rescue!  under the verb "levy", we find:

   7. Wrongly used for level v.

two 17th-century cites here, but this use is clearly still alive.


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

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