Fun with Homonyms

Aside from idly wondering what’s really behind the fall of so ambitious a man, I have little interest in the Petraeus mess. I do however find some grammatical and typographical errors fascinating. For example, here’s an article I intended to scan quickly:


Details of Petraeus Affair Emerge As Scandal Engulfs Gen. John Allen

As I skimmed, one word jumped out at me:

The allegations against Allen are said to involve emails between him and Kelley written from 2010 to 2012. Asked if they were of a “sexual nature,” a senior defense official would only say the messages were, “potentially inappropriate and they bare looking into. The Department is currently reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 (pages of) documents connected to this matter.

So, was this simple ignorance or Freudian homonymfo?

Cassandra the Pedant

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2 Responses to “Fun with Homonyms”

  1. Babz Says:

    Shouldn’t it also be ’emails between HE and Kelley?’ Maybe not. But the whole “bare- bear” thing- eh, I work with school teachers now; I’m used to it. Don’t cry. I really liked what I heard some author or other on teevee say: teachers shouldn’t be required to have a degree in “education.” They should go back to teaching what their passion or specialty is. That way, students can actually learn something. Novel idea. But right now, it’s time for my anti-bully-ing seminar. And then, how to eat healthy lessons. † -Babz-

  2. uncommonscolds Says:

    @Babz–When I was in junior high light years ago, teachers leaned on our class, kids mostly from lower income, blue collar homes. because a good many of us used dative forms where the nominative was traditional. I wan’t surprised when the constant corrections resulted in anxious overcompensation. The misuse flipped–apparently throughout much of the nation–and I now have friends with multiple degrees who use the nominative where grammar books dictate a dative form”: “between him [dative] and Kelley,” I now hear “between he [nominative] and Kelley” far more often than I hear someone say “It is me [dative]” or, Gogol forbid, “Them (dative) is good eats,” the sort of “mistakes” that so irked my junior high school teachers. Those ladies are certainly all dead now, but I bet they died happy knowing they broke us of misusing the dative.

    Here’s a link in case–pun intended–you’re curious:

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/what-is-dative-case/

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