rife » ripe

Chiefly in:   ripe with

Classification: English – nearly mainstream

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Pivotal scenes between Tony Soprano and his lady “shrink” are ripe with moral ambiguities.” (from Fiske, unattributed)
  • Felder: Season ripe with opportunity, peril (GamecockCentral.com, article title, October 10, 2005)
  • The first day of the semester was notably ripe with traffic accidents, as three crashes occurred near Maple and Alumni drives. (The Oracle, October 19, 2005)
  • Makeup this fall season is ripe with sophisticated shades and textures, says Chicago makeup artist Marcus Geeter. (ABC Chicago, October 17, 2005)
  • Granted, the modern world is ripe with digital alternatives for enquiring young minds unimpressed with the sight of Anthony Carluccio stuffing a chop and swilling rosé - but this overbearing triumph of the grill wouldn’t be quite so galling if the programmes that it’s made of weren’t quite so bad. (Michael Holden, The Guardian, Michael Holden's Screen burn July 3, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Robert Hartwell Fiske (The Dictionary of Disagreeable English)
  • commenter "J" (on this site)

The rare and specialized adjective “rife” is here replaced by the much more common “ripe”, which actually makes a lot of sense. Fiske (p. 271) rants: “Infuriatingly, some dictionaries–the worst of them–claim that ripe with also means full of.”

[2005/10/20, CW: some examples added; minor editing.]

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/03/29 |

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