LINGUIST List 3.543

Tue 30 Jun 1992

Qs: Linguistics CD-Rom, Misparsed Idioms

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Lyle Jenkins, Linguistics CD-ROM
  2. Paul Kay, Misparsed Idioms

Message 1: Linguistics CD-ROM

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1992 17:41:08 Linguistics CD-ROM
From: Lyle Jenkins <>
Subject: Linguistics CD-ROM



 A linguistics CD-ROM containing parsers, translators and other
linguistics computational systems is being put together to serve as a
resource for researchers in linguistics, psycholinguistics, computational
linguistics, etc.

 The systems run on a variety of platforms, from laptops to
workstations; e.g., Macintosh, IBM, Sun SPARCstation.

 A number of systems and sample programs have already been
contributed by researchers in the area of syntax, but we are in the process
of supplementing this with systems from other areas such as lexicon,
semantics, morphology and phonology.

 In addition, there will be some linguistics (including
computational linguistics) reading material included.

 Note that some of the systems are available elsewhere, some are
updates to older systems, and still others have not been previously
available. One of the goals of this project is to assemble these systems
in one place to make them more accessible to the research community as an
aid to those who will be involved in constructing the next generation of
computational systems in linguistics.

 In order to defray the costs of disk duplication (circa $5/disk),
grant support will be sought. If approved, the only cost for the CD-ROM
will be postage.

 As this is to be a non-profit project, we need to have a rough idea
of how many people in the linguistics community might be interested. If
you would be interested in the CD-ROM (with no commitment on your part),
then send a one-word message "yes" to and your e-mail
address will be added to a list for later notification when the CD-ROM is

Lyle Jenkins
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Message 2: Misparsed Idioms

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 92 10:08:42 -0Misparsed Idioms
From: Paul Kay <kaycogsci.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Misparsed Idioms

I am making a collection of attested misparsed idioms. Some examples
of attested misparsed idioms follow [in square brackets]
without recognition of their sources:

- It cost [a nominal egg] (cf. an arm and a leg)

- I'm an [utter incomplete fool]. I mean I'm not even a complete fool.

- I'll fight [to the nail] (cf."tooth and ...")

- The issue was [cut and tried]

Contributions to this list of *attested* misparsed idioms will be
welcomed, including sufficient linguistic and/or non-linguistic
context to make clear what the target idiom was. (Mention of whether
the misparsed idiom occured in speech or writing may also be

Two notes:

1. I am *not* interested in misparsings of *non-idiomatic* phrases or
sequences of words occurring in familiar texts (poems, song
lyrics, etc.), such as the following:

- one nation [under guard] (Target: under God, U.S. Pledge of

- And seldom is heard [of the sky-ridging word] (Target: a
discouraging word, Home on the Range)

2. Although misparsed idioms (like the misparsed non-idiomatic
phrases in the last two examples) are often "cute," the object here is
neither whimsey nor commercial exploitation, but linguistic research.

Please send contributions, which will be accepted with gratitude, to



Paul Kay

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