Friday, January 04, 2008

Brother you've changed. Why?

I'm watching 1vs100 right now. Bob Saget just made a joke about the contestant (a single 21 year old man) fraternizing with all the women. But I could swear he said 'fratranizing' [fɹætɹənaɪzɪŋ] instead of [fɹæɾəɹnaɪzɪŋ].

Here's the puzzler: What's the process here? Is this a case of simple phonological metathesis or is it contamination from patronize?


But notice that the analogy isn't pure. While patronize takes the 'o' fratranize takes an 'a'. Of course the fraternity family doesn't have fratron to influence the spelling of the -ize form.


(The geeky but likable kid just won a million by guessing on a question.)

[Update: Well this is what I get for deleting what I think is unnecessary elaboration. It's quite a leap to simply assume that a speaker (such as Mr Saget would spell (or imagine) the word with the 'a' like I did. I based that leap on a Google™ search that gave 186 hits for 'fratranizing' 83 hits for 'fratrenizing' and only 12 hits for 'fratronizing'. Those numbers have changed a little since then -- but the point is that 'fratranizing' looks like the goto spelling.

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