write-off > right-off

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 29 20:47:27 UTC 2009

In black spokelore, the white "captain" or foreman - who is mounted
and armed with a club, a shotgun, and a rifle - of a chain-gang or
other workgroup consisting of black men is known by thim as "Missa
Right-Off," 'cause, if he catch you not woikin' hodn nough, he be
_right off_ his hawss an' oan yo' ass.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 10:33 PM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at sympatico.ca> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject:      write-off > right-off
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> As long as we're talking about eggcorns here, I'll toss in one I
> don't remember seeing before yesterday, when I spotted it in an
> article in the London Telegraph,
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4360411/Good-samaritan-has-roof-cut-off-car-after-giving-refuge-to-injured-driver.html
> :
> "When Mr Carter's car was declared a right-off he expected the
> injured driver's insurance company to pay out."
> Evidently this one is already quite common, as "was a right-off" gets
> about 11,600 Google hits, and at least the first page is all
> instances of this usage.
> James Harbeck.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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