Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 31 17:00:04 UTC 2010

Shouldn't it be "and when you discovered"?  "Discover" sounds fine to me;
"found" would also work, but perhaps it was avoided for sounding a bit too
dramatic.  Or maybe not.


On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 12:37 PM, Baker, John <JMB at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
> Subject:      Re: discover
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        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
> intended.
> 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?
> VS-)
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