pastures anew: eggcorn?

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Sep 17 12:32:43 UTC 2007

Nevertheless, Lynne, you DID know the expression "(fresh woods and) pastures new"--broken free of its original context, having become a sort of high-brow idiom. My students DIDN'T know the expression; they were unable to enjoy that exciting moment of realization: So THAT'S where that expression comes from!

Lynne, teaching literature (as we graying philologists do it, at least) is mainly a matter of getting students to notice carefully what the words of a text ARE, and what those words MEAN (in the widest sense of "meaning") as they form into patterns . . . .


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 09:09:12 -0400
>From: Lynne Murphy <m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK>
>Subject: Re: pastures anew: eggcorn?
>Well, obviously, I didn't know it---which will probably shame me further as our department is being forced into the English dept this month and I will be back to explaining to literature people that it doesn't matter that it's an introductory literature course, I still can't teach it!
>--On Sunday, September 16, 2007 2:24 pm -0400 Charles Doyle
><cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
>> This past week, in the Milton class I'm teaching, I identified the pentameter in "Lycidas" as "one of the most famous lines in all of English poetry." My students disagreed--professing complete prior (a few, even current!) unfamiliarity with it. O how the canon changes . . . .
>> "Pastures anew" doesn't even scan well!
>> --Charlie
>> ---- Original message ----
>>> Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 11:12:02 -0400
>>> From: Lynne Murphy <m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK>
>>> Not sure if this counts as an eggcorn, but received this today:

"Farewell, I am leaving Sussex for pastures anew."

2000 google hits for 'pastures anew' (vs. 225K for 'pastures new').

The thing is, 'pastures new' seems to make more sense.  'Anew' just sounds more marked than 'new', so perhaps it seems more right to put it into a marked N-Adj structure?


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