Saturday, July 05, 2008

To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to

Sometimes, people should not use big words. A poster on TT posted this earlier in the week, after the announcement of the death of Jesse Helms. I didn't hear this -- I'm not sure where 'local" is for this person, but I still got a chuckle out of this.
I just heard a local newsperson talking about the career of Jesse Helms, saying that while he was often controversial, he spent many meretricious years serving his country.

Freudian slip? Big word confusion?
The word does not mean "full of merit" or "worthy of respect", as was probably intended here.
Main Entry: mer·e·tri·cious
Pronunciation: \ˌmer-ə-ˈtri-shəs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin meretricius, from meretric-, meretrix prostitute, from merēre to earn — more at merit
Date: 1626
1: of or relating to a prostitute : having the nature of prostitution <meretricious relationships>
2 a
: tawdrily and falsely attractive meretricious trash — Carolyn See> b: superficially significant : pretentious meretricious but stylish books
Sometimes the typos and misspeaking are far more amusing than they should be.

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