New eggcorn?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 9 16:04:12 UTC 2009

This prompted me to look--because the only context for "formerly
dressed" that I could think of was nudity. I was not surprised, however,
that one of the top hits (aside from Google-suggested redirection to
"formally dressed") was this:

> > Visitors to the newly revamped ride will find some of the dolls
formerly dressed in fashions from around the world, now dressed as
Disney characters and located in the countries where their stories take
For example, dolls dressed in Aladdin and Jasmine costumes play in the
Middle East scene, and a doll dressed as Alice from "Alice in
Wonderland" appears in the Great Britain setting.

The context is the reopening of Disneyland's "It's a Small World" ride.
Interestingly, the story puts the name of the ride in quotes, but
without caps.

But, of course, that was not eggcorn-ish. But this is:

> > This response to me meant I would have to wait till eternity, obeying
the dogged instinct even though I was formerly dressed I immediately
went on my knees as I begged him to help investigate why my offer letter
was not dispatched.

If that strikes you as an ESL issue, consider p. 472 of Encyclopedia of
Death and Dying (2001):

> > The body was completely clothed, a lay person being formerly dressed
in a white shroud, while members of the clergy and religious orders wore
ordinary ecclesiastical garments and the vestments distinctive of their

Is this "formerly", as opposed to "currently", or is it a malaprop?

Or, consider this description of the Superdawg in Chicago:

> > A juicy pure beef dawg is nestled within the inviting confines of a
poppy seed bun and formerly dressed with all the trimmings you might
want, including green tomatoes, celery salt, the best relish we’ve ever
had and sport peppers that will bring your taste buds to attention.

It takes some hunting, but a substantial number of hits (form the 244000
raw) is of this variety.


Laurence Horn wrote:
> 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.
> LH

The American Dialect Society -

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