Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I noticed the following on the the February 25 episode of the Planet Money podcast. Reporter Adam Davidson and producer Katia Dunn are discussing their interview with Timothy Geithner. (This exchange begins at about 3:37.)
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/02/ … _test.html
Davidson: And does he have talking points in front of him? Does he…
Dunn: No, no. You know, like I said he was very calm and collective, and you know he seemed very together.
The standard expression is of course calm and collected, where collected is the opposite of distracted.
Collective is obviously closely related to collected, each derived from the verb to collect. Some may see this substitution as a simple error, either of perception or of production, without semantic reshaping. I think, however, that some re-shapers are using the -ive suffix productively. Think about adjectives such as apprehensive “anticipative of something adverse; fearful of what may be about to happen,” pensive “implying thought, anxiety, or melancholy, ” and restive “characterized by unwillingness or resistance to control” (definitions from OED). Each of these is in the same general semantic space as calm, mostly as opposites. Given this association, it is not surprising that the -ive suffix becomes attached to the phrase calm and collect[ed].
I find 43,900 estimated raw Google hits for “calm and collective”, but as is so often the case there seems to be a musical group (or several?) with that name. Many of the hits may be puns or other non-eggcorn uses. Still, the following examples suggest that the reshaping is out there.
Roy Williams… calm and collective
Jim Calhoun should take notes on how Roy Williams recently answered a question about our country’s floundering economy.
http://content.usatoday.com/topics/arti … HIgwWcxS/1
While it may have been an ugly start the Bills stayed cool, calm, and collective which one must find impressive for such a young team with so much talent.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/5995 … back-again
Pookey’s Gallery >> Alien Protection Information >> It is important to remain calm and collective, do not show them fear.
Therefore, always be calm and collective in most problems of life and try to face them head on with full determination.
http://chetanchopra.sulekha.com/blog/po … ration.htm