Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 20 22:11:15 UTC 2010

Megyn Kelly (at least, I think it was Megyn Kelly) of Fox News said
earlier today that storms had "dredged" California, causing concerns
about mudslides (of course, they'd cause the actual mudslides too).
There are two meanings of "dredge" (plus minor variations)--to scrape
(and collect from) the bottom and to sprinkle or dust with some kind of
powder (and the use of is necessary, so one can't "dredge with water").
The standard use are to dredge the channel, dredge for oysters and
dredge in flour--none of these apply.

It seems obvious to me (unless I am completely blind to other options)
that she meant "drenched". I am sure this is not the first time I heard
this error. Is it a simple word substitution out of ignorance, random
queuing error or an eggcorn?

A more common substitution I hear/read is "drag" for "dredge", but this
one does not sound as egregious.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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