ad » at

Chiefly in:   at hominem , at infinitum , at nauseam

Classification: English – cross-language – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • You’re trying to compare to things that are not similar, and then when criticized for it you rely on at hominem retorts. (Hollywood Reporter comment, July 22, 2014)
  • How many times are you going to argue at hominem? (Malta Today comment, Sept. 4, 2016)
  • Rosemary Owens told the ABC that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is starting to identify “unscrupulous employers” who use unpaid trials “at infinitum in relation to a whole range of people”. (HC Online, Oct. 2, 2015)
  • As can be seen in previous images, the square indicating the focus center when focusing a minimum distance is much closer to the center at infinitum in the 1.4 than it is in 2.0. (Digital Photography Review forum, July 5, 2016)
  • This incident (was) discussed at nauseam 20 years ago when it happened. (Doug Gottlieb Show, CBS Sports Radio, Feb. 22, 2016)
  • All throughout the preseason, we in the media talked at nauseam about the Dodgers lack of a true leadoff hitter. (SoCal Sports, NBC Los Angeles, Apr. 4, 2016)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Leon Bambrick (Twitter, Sept. 30, 2016)

Compare ad » and, which results in and hominem, and infinitum, and and nauseam. The Latin preposition ad, meaning “to,” is a cognate of English at, both derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *ad-.

| Comments Off link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2016/10/01 |

said » set

Chiefly in:   when/after all is set and done

Classification: English – /t/-flapping – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • As much as a foot of snow is possible after all is set and done. (The Denver Channel, Apr. 14, 2009)
  • When all was set and done, the missed shot didn’t mean anything but the impact from the opposing crowd was felt throughout every inch of Crisler Arena. (The Michigan Daily, Feb. 11, 2010)
  • There is no deal in place but when all is set and done, something expected to happen after the Academy Awards, Sorkin’s project is on track to get a pilot order by HBO. (Deadline Hollywood, Jan. 23, 2011)
  • After all is set and done, iOS 5 seems to work just fine, according to Mills. (TechLeash, Oct. 26, 2011)
  • By the time all is set and done over 2 feet is possible for the hardest hit areas. (News 4 Tucson, Dec. 13, 2011)
  • After all was set and done in Newark, NJ on Thursday night at the 2012 NBA Draft, most of the headlines left happy with their new hat, new boss and most of all, a soon-to-be-epic bank account. (SB Nation Atlanta, June 30, 2012)

Analyzed or reported by:

| Comments Off link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2012/07/02 |

Cadillac » Catillac

Classification: English – questionable – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • “:rolleyes: now, WHO drives a catillac out of gas on a side road?? :rolleyes: anyhoo ~ i believe they were casing our house. from the road, you couldnt tell …” (link)
  • “Cadillac ‘Pink’ One of the most escentric and outrageous cars within our entire fleet, the famous 1959 Pink Catillac.” (link)
  • “Vincent then heads to boost a Catillac, but unbeknownst to him, … Vincent, speechless, jumps in the Catillac but is immediately stopped by Julius, …” (link)
  • “CUT TO Lowell speeding up and down the street of a gated off community in his pink Catillac, narrowly missing a few kids that are busy playing hop-scotch. …” (link)

A Google web search on “Catillac” yields thousands of examples, most of them irrelevant: Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats (television show of the 80s), other bits of cat-related word play, the Catillac variety of pear, horses named Catillac, people who’ve chosen “catillac” as their username, and so on. Of the remaining examples, some are probably just misspellings, as in the case of the writer (above) who produces both “Cadillac” and “Catillac” in a short description, and also spells “eccentric” as “escentric” (which probably reflects an actual pronunciation). But I suspect that some of the examples arise from an association between Cadillac cars and men who might be referred to either as “cool cats” or as “fat cats”. The t/d confusion stems, of course, from intervocalic flapping in some English dialects.

See also Cadillac converter.

| Comments Off link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/09/03 |

ratify » radify

Classification: English – questionable – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • “I think it’s due to the new constitution radification that is about to happen.” (e-mail from a soldier correspondent in Iraq, reported by Rudolph)
  • “The Finance Committee would request that the board radify their action. … Ben Click moved and Ray Hanna seconded the motion to radify the action of the …” (link)
  • “Then and only then will the membership VOTE to radify or not radify the TENTATIVE AGEEMENT.” (link)
  • “… and works to ascertain God’s leading as to whom should fill certain positions within our congregation, the full congregation radifies these appointments in …” (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Ken Rudolph (Usenet newsgroup soc.motss, 27 August 2005)

Not a rare spelling for “ratify”: raw Google web hits on 29 August 2005:

radification: 1,070
radified: 13,400 (most related to “rad” rather than “ratify”)
radify: 649
radifies: 89
radifying: 82

Most of these are probably simple misspellings, but “rad(ical)” might have contributed to some of them, which would bring them into eggcorn territory.

| Comments Off link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/08/30 |

coded » coated

Chiefly in:   color-coated

Variant(s):  colour-coated

Classification: English – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • The key maps are colour-coated depending on which party won the ridings shown on the map. (Wikipedia, Canadian federal election, 2004 map gallery, revision as of 07:44, 9 October 2004)
  • Also it’s color coated so the colors change to match the channel it’s sending audio out of. (electronic music, ad, May 12 2005)
  • Color Coated Inputs (The mobilevideo Store)
  • Color Coated Cutting Boards
    These color coated cutting boards leave no question as to which board is in use and what possible contamination hazards might be present with that particular food item. (link)

The existence of color-coding - assigning meanings to colors - and color-coating - coating things (paper, metal, etc.) with a coat of color - seems to have led to some confusion about which is which. In some of the above examples, both phrases appear as if interchangeable. After all, if something is color coded, it must be coated with a color, right? Not if it’s not a color coating (which seems to be more of an industrial term) but, say, an item dyed that color.

| Comments Off link | entered by Ann Burlingham, 2005/08/25 |