centripetal » centripedal

Chiefly in:   centripedal force

Classification: English – questionable – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • “.. centripedal force and something called the center of gravity … This is called centripedal force and it causes the object to take a circular path, …” (www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/ everydaylife/SUV_Rollover_test.html)

Presumably with stress on the second syllable, so a result of intervocalic flapping neutralizing /t/ and /d/, represented in spelling by a “d”. Still, the “pedal” element might be a move towards something having to do with feet.

On 28 November 2004 I got 720 (raw, unexamined) Google web hits for “centripedal”, as against 6,260 for “centrifical” (q.v.) in place of “centrifugal”.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/03/16 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Tom , 2006/12/20 at 10:04 pm

    Strictly speaking there is no such thing as centripetal force, it is centripetal acceleration, manifested in the person experiencing it (who happens to be tethered to the center of gravity) as “centrifugal force.” Thus this one may in a way be a double-eggcorn? But maybe a Physics professor or two would need to confirm that.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.