Pirates paid $9m ransom

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Sun Nov 7 15:16:22 UTC 2010

It took me a long second to realize that the headline "Pirates paid
$9m ransom" meant that the pirates _were_ paid a 9 million dollar
ransom and not that they did the paying. I suppose that pirates
occasionally pay for stuff (parrot treats, tattoos, and the like), but
when it comes to ransoms they are always the payees and never the



Paul Frank
Chinese, German, French, Italian > English
Espace de l'Europe 16
Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland
paulfrank at bfs.admin.ch
paulfrank at post.harvard.edu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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