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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Query Details

Query Subject:   RE: "To tide someone over"
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics

Query:   In her summary of the geographical distribution, semantic range and origin of ''to tide someone over'', Erica Hofmann Kencke mentioned that some speakers have modified this to . Her interpretation, with which I totally agree, is that it is 'probably a construction by which a speaker ''corrects'' an incomprehensible idiom to a form that seems to make more sense'. I've personally heard a number of similar ''corrections'' over the years, e.g., , , , (I kid you not), etc. Is there a name for this sort of thing (I don't think it would qualify as hypercorrection, do you?), and has any sort of list ever been compiled?

Marc Picard
LL Issue: 10.107
Date posted: 25-Jan-1999


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