Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 28 18:21:33 UTC 2009

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Michael Sheehan wrote:
> CNBC continues to provide frequent eggcorns, always surprising to me
> since the staff is not composed of sluggards. This afternoon, this
> question was uttered: "Do you think people are reticent to invest in
> auto part companies because of government involvement?"

Not an eggcorn, and not even really a malapropism, since this extended usage of
"reticent" to mean "reluctant" has been around for quite some time now. I wrote
about this on Word Routes, as did Michael Quinion on World Wide Words:

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
> Looks like a sort of blend of "reluctant" + "hesitant."

I mention "hesitant" as a possible influence (along with "reluctant") in the
column above.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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