Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 27 13:43:29 UTC 2009

At 4:03 AM -0700 4/27/09, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at> wrote:
>  >From the recently published _The Mercedes Coffin_ by Faye
>Kellerman (New York: William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins),
>2008, ISBN 978-0-06-122733-2) chapter 38 page 311:
>"What if he holds all the purse strings and she knows he'd be
>reticent to hire a lawyer to defend her?"
>The word the author aimed at and missed appears to be "reluctant".
>            James A. Landau
>            test engineer
>            Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
>            8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
>            West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA

Yup, I think we've had a couple of rounds on "reticent abuse"--Alison
noted it in 2007 (diagnosing influence from "hesitant" as well as
"reluctant") and Mike Quinion covered in on World Wide Words around
the same time.  Mark Mandel thought it might have to do more with the
orthographic resemblance between "reluctant" and "reticent" than with
any (barely existing) phonological similarity.


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