Wednesday, April 25, 2007

News hours nuggets

Joe Sestak (D-Penn, one of the guys who helped the Dems take the House) just twice used the word province, as in the big political-geographical units within Iraq, and both times came out with providence. Turns out, if you search for, say, Anbar Providence, you actually get a lot of hits. A lot of these look like military families and Sestak is a recent vet, so this pattern may be sociolectal.

That's one really unfortunate reanalysis or confusion ,or whatever it is. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition of that word:
1 a often capitalized : divine guidance or care b capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
2 : the quality or state of being provident
If the American presence in places like Anbar is anything, it is not divinely guided or much else good.

Sestak's Republican counterpart in the segment, Mike Rogers of Michigan, also produced another interesting item:
ought notta do it
That doesn't sound insanely bad to me, but the missus flinched visibly. She says oughta not do it is fine, and ought not to do it is formal-sounding but grammatical. Maybe the style level rules out the cliticization there?

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