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.


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.

Unknown 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!