New eggcorn?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Sep 8 17:45:35 UTC 2009

At 11:20 AM -0400 9/8/09, Baker, John wrote:
>         I don't think it's an error.  I believe the sense is that,
>although the U.S. government is an ally of the Pakistani government, the
>Pakistani people think of the U.S. not as the ally it officially is, but
>as an enemy.
>John Baker

What we'd need (and I'm sure we'd find if we looked hard enough) are
examples like

"John, formally Jane's husband, is now married to Sue."

Barring bigamy, this would have to involve a reinterpretation or
malapropism or whatever.

Of course if John and Sue showed up for their ceremony formerly
dressed, that would be equally creative.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Of Bill Palmer
>Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 10:43 AM
>Subject: New eggcorn?
>McClatchy Newspapers reports today that "Pakistanis regard the U.S.,
>*formally* a close ally, a hostile power."
>I do not find this in the DB, which seems remarkable, as it seems like a
>very common error. Did I not look far enough?
>Given the state of the profession today, I am not surprised to see this
>transgression committed by the "journalisterati".  Thanks and credit to
>Wilson G for the idea for this coinage.
>Bill Palmer
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list