hale » hail
Spotted in the wild:
- “Albania was challenging Great Britain’s competence to hail it before the International Court of Justice” (Collier's Year Book, 1949)
- “Foreign banks are frequently hailed into court in New York. Dagher et al. v. Saudi Refining 00, plus over $2 million in interest plus attorneys’ fees” (link)
The first example is from the MWDEU entry for “hail, hale”. The MWDEU editors express surprise that they had only two examples of “hail” for “hale”.
The verb “hale” ‘compel to go’ is rare and mostly confined to contexts involving courts or similar deliberative bodies. The verb “hail” ‘call’, on the other hand, is much more common, and it makes sense in the court context, so you’d expect reanalysis. I’m actually a bit surprised that “hail” seems not to have prevailed over “hale”: on 29 March 2005, raw Google web hits were ca. 7,260 for “haled into court” vs. 758 for “hailed into court”.
My thanks to Victor Steinbok, who reminded me of this case in e-mail on 29 March 2005.