in loom of

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 7 19:56:47 UTC 2009

At 2:36 PM -0400 9/7/09, James Harbeck wrote:
>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").

As in "I peed in the woods, in loo of a proper bathroom"?

>  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.
That is nice.  I'm not sure what I'd call this sort of spin-off
either.  Idiomatic recruitment?


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