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#1 2011-01-14 17:54:30

instarx
Member
Registered: 2006-07-31
Posts: 12

Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

A St. Johns University lawyer, angry at being complained about by an outside lawyer, filed a court brief complaining of the first lawyer, saying that “his attempt to represent such differences as evidence of nonfeasance, incompetence and collusion <b>is beyond pale.</b>” (New York Times, City Room Blog, January 14, 2011). Don’t you just love it when lawyers cat fight?

Of course the correct term is “beyond the pale”. The St. Johns lawyer may have been thinking that “beyond pale” means “totally white, without color or substance, worthless” rather than “beyond the gate”. I’m guessing, but it seems clearly in eggcorn country to me.

Last edited by instarx (2011-01-14 17:57:44)

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#2 2011-01-15 00:32:45

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1794
Website

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Does he use this as standard? It could easily be an omission error. If it is standard for someone, and that person has a rationale for it of the type you suggest, it would certainly be an eggcorn.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#3 2011-01-15 04:10:26

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 954

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Another nice find, instarx. Here are a few more hits.

Pakistan Observer Attack on Freedom Flotilla was beyond pale
On May 31, Israel added another shameful chapter to its long history of blatant disregard of international law

Tea Party rhetoric But actions have consequences & much of what he said was beyond pale by media’s & his own standards

Religion & Politics The ignorance and arrogance of some of the material from yesterday was beyond pale.

Well, the first might be a dropped article in a headline.

Last edited by burred (2011-01-15 04:11:47)

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#4 2011-01-15 06:58:59

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1794
Website

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Well, the first might be a dropped article in a headline.

I thought the same when I read it. But of course if one reads a headline like that a time or two, one might start to think it “correct” for other contexts as well, and reinterpret in the eggcornical mode. In other words, the telegraphic style of headlines can be yet another avenue (like blending, slips of tongue or finger, metatheses, etc.) for the establishing of eggcorns.

It’s growing on me.

Besides the notion “colorless” = “contentless, vacuous, worthless”, there might be a racial motivation to the meaning. E.g. the attack by Jews on the virtuous and totally innocent Freedom Flotilla (whose goal and motivation was only the relief of the oppressed, who are of course people of color) was not just nearly WASP-like, but downright and despicably white of them. (The inclusion of “pale-faced” in the title of this series may be hinting at the same idea.)

All that lacks is to rope in Palin and her elk to really get it going.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2011-01-15 07:16:06)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#5 2011-01-15 12:08:46

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 954

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

David, you’ve outed the pale-face hidden in ‘Palin’. Funny.

Beyond ‘beyond pale’, you have to wonder whether ‘beyond the pale’ is a hidden eggcorn for some.

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#6 2011-01-15 13:14:41

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Wow! If the numbers are correct, this might be the biggest find of recent times… 320,000 Google hits for “is beyond pale.” (I daresay we are seeing the birth of a new idiom … or at least an in-the-language expression). I like the imagery already mentioned, but I would also suggest some influence from another idiom: “pale by/in comparison.”

Here are just a few more of the thousands and thousands that are out there…

Value InvestingFeb 8, 2010 … Report this Comment On February 09, 2010, at 5:44 AM, Austin77478 wrote: The author’s subluminally assault on Sirius is beyond pale. ...
www.fool.com/investing/.../is-this-comp … fail.aspx Cached – Similar

Oregon Daily Emerald – Obsession with individualism a sharp …Jan 21, 2010 … But, the idea of intolerance toward others in the 21st century is beyond pale. Your name. Fri Jan 29 2010 00:55. Great article! ...
www.dailyemerald.com › Opinion – Cached

If Billy Shows Up with a Baby Girl, Isn’t Someone in GC Going to …Jan 11, 2011 … Felicien. 01-12-2011, 12:51 PM. What in the h*ll is he thinking buying a baby? I love Billy but this is beyond pale. ...
boards.soapcentral.com/archive/index.php/t-665723.html – Cached

Sea Lion Shot In Face Won’t Survive In The Wild « CBS Sacramento …Dec 28, 2010 … The hilarity of the above comments is beyond pale. Seriously, animals are for eating, they eat other animals, and we eat them. ...
sacramento.cbslocal.com/.../sea-lion-shot-in-face-wont-survive-in-the-wild/ – Cached►

brokerage fees from amazon.com – RedFlagDeals.com ForumsJul 12, 2010 … The selection and prices of amazon.ca to other amazon sites is beyond pale. I feel very deprived not being able to buy things that I need …
forums.redflagdeals.com/brokerage-fees-amazon-com-913064/ – Canada – Cached

Last edited by jorkel (2011-01-15 13:31:06)

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#7 2011-01-15 13:29:07

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

As a side note to my last post, I also noticed quite a few examples of is pale in/by comparison, and I’m a little foggy about that: If we agree that “pale in comparison” is indeed an idiom, does it matter whether we consider “pale” to be a verb or an adjective (when using it idiomatically)? After all, the non-idiomatic usage of that collection of words would allow it to be either one, no? (And is there any significant change in the imagery to push the non-idiomatic usage into Eggcorn territory? ... I suspect not.)

Last edited by jorkel (2011-01-15 14:09:09)

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#8 2011-01-16 12:31:22

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1794
Website

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

I would consider both “it pales in/by comparison with/to NP” and “it is pale in/by comparison with/to NP” to be well established idiomatic phrases in my dialect. They are a kind of a flip from “it/he is beyond (the) pale” in that the subject of the phrase is having its/his offensiveness mitigated rather than emphasized; the offensive element is the NP at the end, by comparison with which the subject looks pretty good.

Except of course, that sometimes it isn’t a matter of offense, but of admirable color, in which case the NP at the end is held up as the standard, compared with which the subject is found wanting.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#9 2011-01-23 09:41:46

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 657

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Silly me; I thought “Beyond Pale” was a new recording by Procol Harum.

Sorry.

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#10 2012-05-03 02:54:51

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2161

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

I was reading a movie review and came across this folk etymology for “beyond the pale:”

Movie review: “The law in the west of Ireland is where the saying ‘beyond the pale’ came from – English law created by a person named Pale which divided the country leaving the ‘wild west’ or Ireland outside the law, beyond the Pale (law). ”

I wonder if this is a widespread belief.

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#11 2012-05-04 00:33:47

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1202

Re: Pale-faced lawyers going beyond the pale

Behold a pale horse. No, hold on—it’s that anemic old nag, Mr. Pale. We better scoot before he sees we’re out here.

Parish boundaries defined by the distance that the church bells can be heard are premised in the PEN/O. Henry prizewinning story “The Bell Ringer”:

Since the community was often defined by the reach of the bells, with those “beyond the peal” deemed to be outside that parish, he [the author] started thinking that maybe an experienced listener could not only determine by the tenor of the bells what they signified socially
http://may-on-the-short-story.blogspot. … henry.html

Your eggcorn alarms are surely ringing. Though this one may be an intentional play on “beyond the pale”, it provided a nice justification for others who seem to have gone full eggcorn.

We were embarrassed when he apologized for us for saving Europe etc from the Dictators and the Nazis. This really goes beyond the peal.
American nuclear doctrine

Cops….festooned in black masks and suits and jackboots, armed to the teeth, knocking down doors, beating hell out of the occupants or shooting them first and then asking questions, goes beyond the peal of Law Enforcement. It is unbridled intimidation, pure and simple.
Gun forum

Last edited by David Bird (2012-05-04 02:20:19)

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