in loom of

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Sep 7 18:36:39 UTC 2009

I glanced over at a food court TV screen and saw a news headline, "In
loom of a possible fall election..." (then it changed to another
story and I didn't see the rest).

So I just googled it, and "in loom of" gets 128,000 hits, quite a lot
of them using it in the same sense as the one I saw: not to mean "in
lieu of" but rather "in the looming shadow of" (e.g., from January
2008, "Yangtze River Crisis in loom of 2008 Summer Olympics in
China"). So it's not really an eggcorn in the classic style; I expect
that many using it also use "in lieu of" where appropriate (or, as
the case may be, "in loo of"). But the phrase "in lieu of" has served
as a pattern, with the word "loom" being grabbed and pressed into
service. I hadn't seen this one before.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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