Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu May 28 18:30:20 UTC 2009

On May 28, 2009, at 10:57 AM, 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?"

it's common enough to have made it into Brians, which instructs:
   “Reticent” denotes only reluctance to speak; do not use it for any
other form of reluctance.

and common enough in respectable circles for "reticent" 'reluctant" to
make it into MW Collegiate 10 and AHD4.

i don't see it as originating in an eggcorn.  possibly a classical
malapropism, but Brians's comment suggests that it might just be a
semantic broadening for "reticent".  others have suggested that it's a
blend, of "reluctant" and "hesitant" (or at least that "hesitant"
plays some role).

we have a discussion of this one here about every two years: in august
2005 in a "laconic" thread; in september 2007 in a ""reticent" abuse
thread; and in april 2009 in a "reticent" thread.


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