Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri May 29 16:37:46 UTC 2009

On May 28, 2009, at 8:25 PM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: bridle/bridal
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 6:03 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at>
> wrote:
>> On May 28, 2009, at 2:43 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>>> Parallel to "peddle" for "pedal".
>> of course.  in Brians:
> The ECDB has "backpeddle" and "soft-peddle":
> These should probably be combined into one entry with other examples
> of "pedal" -> "peddle".

each of these entries has a rationale for "peddle" in it.  but i don't
see any rationale for "peddle to school/work" or "bicycle peddle".
(though maybe there are those who think that people sell things off

* "pedal"/"peddle" ratios (raw google webhits):
   X to school: 450.6
   X to work: 40.5
   bicycle X: 54.7
   X-boat: 6.04
(that is, an unusually large number of "peddle-boat" hits.)

meanwhile, there are errors in the other direction, with "pedal" for

   Lily Allen's father used her to pedal drugs ...

  One who pedals pipe-dreams to those who pedal drugs

  The "Corrupt Bastards Club" - Alaska Influence Pedaling Sting. By
Steve Lombardi

  Brown and Garrett call this restaurant adjacent to the rehab clinic,
McPharmacy, a favorite for the usual suspects pedaling pills and
powder ...

i'm still inclined to see most "peddle"/"pedal" errors as simple
spelling confusions based on homophony.


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