Tue Aug 31 16:37:44 UTC 2010

        Context suggests that the last line of the excerpt should say
something like "vote, and when you discovered that you were ineligible
to vote because you were not a United States Citizen."  The text clearly
is garbled as quoted (by Fox News, not by Victor, who reproduced their
version accurately); in the quoted form, it seems to say that the
immigrant discovered he was not a U.S. citizen, then rushed out to
register to vote.  I don't think an unusual meaning of "discovered" is

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Victor Steinbok
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:18 PM
Subject: discover

  I am not sure what to file this under. And I am not interested in the
discussion of politics of the issue in the article. What attracted my
attention was the phrasing.

Here is an excerpt from the DHS letter cited in the article:
> "Submit ... evidence that you have been removed from the roll of
> registered voters. This can be accomplished by contacting your local
> election commission where you registered and voted. Submit a letter of
> explanation of why you registered to vote, and where you registered to
> vote, when you discovered that you were not a United States Citizen."

This sounds like a cross-examination in a Three Stooges court: "So, when
did you discover that you're human, Dr. Fine?"

In what sense is "discover" the right word here?


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