Levying violence

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 23 21:14:58 UTC 2010

Why couldn't this just be an extension of levying war to acts of
violence less than war?


On 3/23/2010 2:49 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok<aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Levying violence
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Eggcorn from use with taxes?
>   From Wiki--Income Tax:
> "An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or business
> (corporations or other legal entities)."
>   From Wiki--Tax:
> "In modern taxation systems, taxes are levied in money, but in-kind and
> corvée taxation are characteristic of traditional or pre-capitalist
> states and their functional equivalents."
> So there may be some confusion here between "level", "levy" and "lay".
>       VS-)
> On 3/23/2010 1:22 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
>>>  From a sad news story about a child killed by an abusive stepfather:
>> "No one could have anticipated that this kind of violence would have been
>> levied on this child."
>> Violence levied? I've heard of taxes being levied, and sometimes bank
>> charges, but not violence. I've also heard of charges and accusations being
>> leveled, which I take to be a metaphorical extension of leveling (i.e.
>> aiming) a gun at someone. Is there some combined phonetic and semantic
>> blending going on here, such that undesirable things are levied on people?
>> OED has a definition of "levy" as "wrongly used for LEVEL", but attestations
>> only from 1600s.
>> a1634 RANDOLPH De Histrice 2 Poems (1638) 26 Fam'd Stymphall, I have heard,
>> thy birds in flight Shoot showers of arrowes forth all levied right.
>> Earliest hit in GNA, 1994: "Rooney touted his agenda against all violence
>> levied at and between children, as well as his ability to help bring state
>> money to the 133rd."
>> http://news.google.com/archivesearch?as_user_ldate=1900&as_user_hdate=2009&q=%22violence+levied%22&scoring=a&hl=en&ned=us&um=1&q=%22violence+levied%22&lnav=od&btnG=Go
>> Neal
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