eggcorns and other wild beasts--the Bernei Madoff edition

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 23 20:16:33 UTC 2009

<eliminating all the HTML tags>

Browsing through the letters to the US Attorneys Office in connection
with the Bernie Madoff case, I spotted an eggcorn in the wild. This one
is not in the database and does not appear to be a spell-checker failure.

There is other stuff to watch out for. Below are some of the ones that
I've spotted or found interesting.

On page 57, the correspondent signs the letter with "Respectively, []".
(Actual signature blacked out.)
I am assuming the intent was to sign with "respectfully".

The same correspondent makes a couple of other comments that would
irritate an average prescriptivist. For those who always complain about
"impact" being used as a verb (I have quite a number of such friends and
acquaintances), there is the pair of sentences (not in succession):
"This devastating effect, has impacted 51 suffering families." and
"Bernie Madoff has made a profound negative affect on my entire family."
Yes, the comma in the first sentence is also in the original.

Second, talking about his own father, the correspondent wrote, "As a
retired person who is in their 80's, he is not in a position to go back
into the workforce."

On p. 58, the first sentence, referring to Madoff and his wife, reads,

"Suppose he transferred hundreds of millions to her account during the

On p. 61, there are a few interesting expressions.

"...should be looked at for any big amount that catches eyes..."
"Look for any big payouts or transfer outs..."
"I am sure he buried and hide gold bars..."

But the one that's particularly puzzling to me is "'s no different
from traveling sales man from SC to rip off elderly folks." SC?? Is
there something special about South Carolina traveling salesmen, or is
there another meaning to this?

On p.79, "I am a historian of financial fraud and financial bubbles ...
and would suggest that it might be _meet and proper_ for you to have one
individual present who can put the entire Madoff matter into historical

On p. 93, " so was recently diagnosed with _Multiple Scoliosis_..."
Although there is one other Google hit that has words "multiple
scoliosis" in it, it is a phantom


The American Dialect Society -

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