discomforted--new eggcorn?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 8 17:50:25 UTC 2009

In this week's Newsweek, Michael Isikoff writes of the upcoming
Blagojevich trial, "Democrats won't be the only one's discomforted by
the trial."  I think he means "discomfited."  There are 85k googits
for "discomforted," the vast majority meaning "made uncomfortable,
uneasy."  But there is a NYTimes title, "DEATH OF A CARDINAL: THE
POLITICS; Politicians in Pews Discomforted by Homily's Praise of
'Pro-Life' Stand."  I suspect the title writer meant "embarrassed,"
but in the text of the article is "Most of the political leaders at
the front, almost all of them supporters of legalized abortion,
rustled in obvious discomfort as television cameras focused on the
moment."  So the title writer may have derived the form from that use
of "discomfort," but the meaning in the title seems closer to
"discomfit" than to "discomfort."  Another link has "Acutely
discomforted by Amos. Sometimes the Anglican lectionary can really
dump you in it."  Given Amos's pointed social justice message, this
usage sounds more like "discomfited," but the link at
www.metacatholic.co.uk is no longer available, so I couldn't check it.


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

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