to "course-correct"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 3 23:00:28 UTC 2011

I'd have thought it was "re-" + (sign) "up."

The oath-taking reference seems fanciful to me. The swearing-in itself
seems hardly ever to be alluded to.


On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 6:26 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: to "course-correct"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Oct 3, 2011, at 12:43 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > ... I'm reminded of the conflict in the
> > barracks, back in the day, between the supporters of _re-ing up_ and
> > the backers of _re-upping_.
> >
> > Naturally, each side thought that the other side was *seriously*
> > compromised in its control of derivation in English.
> OED3 (March 2010) has "re-up" with "up" treated as a verb "with reference
> to the holding up of one's right hand on taking the oath of enlistment into
> the United States armed forces", so that inflection should be on the final
> element (as it is in all the OED examples).
> but that wouldn't preclude analyzing the thing as a mystery head "re-" plus
> the particle "up", in which case inflection would go on the first element.
> arnold
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