Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On 'coinage'

Twice in two days we've come across an incorrect use of the verb "coin." Today's misuse appeared in Maureen Dowd's column.

To coin a phrase or word means to invent it.

Sarah Palin did NOT coin the phrase "bass-ackwards." The spoonerism has been around for years. For years! Let's not give Palin any more credit than she deserves. Feel free to interpret that as you will.

4 comments:

Richard Jesse Watson said...

If Palin invented a phrase it would be unwitting. Speaking of triumphs of grammer, Martha, you have no doubt read *The Education of Hyman Kaplan*? Such a delightful read.

Jaime said...

I'd prefer parasailin' to Sarah Palin any day. Maybe we need to make a pact not to blog about her anymore. There's this thing called "Mew Noon" that sounds interesting. What do you think, Bartha?

Weird -- my word verification is 'coing'

ElizabethMajor said...

I really find it sad that people consider spoonerisms to be new words. Like you said, one cannot coin a spoonerism.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Thanks for the comments, all. I wish I were parasailing!