Data points: inadvertent blends 9/12/10

I post so often about portmanteaus (which originate as intentional combinations of material and are often called “blends”) that I tend to slight the many examples of inadvertent blends, a common error type. Here’s a nice one that came by me not long ago, in reporting on the devastating San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion:

“There’s a history here that raises some pause and concern that this [inadequate inspection of the pipelines] could be an ongoing characteristic of their [PG&E’s] maintenance,” [California] Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said Friday. (Paul Rogers and Steve Johnson, “PG&E record called into question”, [S.F. Bay] Daily News, 9/11/10, p. A2)

Raise some pause seems to be an inadvertent blend of raise some question(s) with the idiom give (some) pause (which can occur as is, or with an expression of the experiencer via one of the dative constructions of English: give someone (some) pause, give (some) pause to someone).

One Response to “Data points: inadvertent blends 9/12/10”

  1. meg Says:

    Plus, I suspect, a soupçon of “cause for concern”…

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