prior = "before"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 8 00:46:41 UTC 2007

At 5:26 PM -0700 5/7/07, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>In case you missed Rep. John Shimkus's remarks
>to the House on May 2, here they are as a
>horrible ex. of  the failed Homeric metaphor,
>which should be of interest to all students of
>composition and rhetoric. But note especially
>the innovative use of _prior_ to mean "before

He had me at "fail to field a batter".


>my beloved St. Louis Cardinals are playing the
>much despised Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals are up
>by five, finishing the top of the ninth. Is this
>a cause for celebration? Is this a cause for
>victory? No. Unbelievable as it may seem, the
>Cubbies score five runs in the bottom of the
>ninth to throw the games into extra innings.
>   "There the score remains until 1:00 a.m. five
>innings later. However, at the top of the 15th,
>the Cardinals fail to field a batter. The entire
>team has left the stadium. It seems that they
>are more worried about next day’s 1:00 p.m. game
>at home than finishing the game at hand.
>  "
>  Who wins? We know it’s the team that stays on
>the field. Arbitrary deadlines and a date
>certain accept defeat before the conclusion of
>the contest. It is our national security
>interest that continue to take the field and
>support a moderate Arab state. Leaving prior
>assures a loss for us and victory for our
>opponents which will lead to another extremist
>Islamic state."
>Thanks to The Daily Show for the tip !
>Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
>  Check outnew cars at Yahoo! Autos.
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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