PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts

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  1. While the definition they give is almost correct, not one of the examples is a true hapax legomenon. Indeed, it’s hard to have a true hapax legomenon in a living language. They’ve tried to make it correct by saying it’s an expression (generally it’s a single word), and then by streeeeetching what we mean by a single use in the corpus.

    Here’s a simple test — if it’s easy to translate (as all of the above terms are), it’s NOT a hapax legomenon, because in most cases we aren’t even 100% sure what they mean.

    Aside from their examples, it’s just not true. I’ve heard the phrase “to pledge allegiance” in all sorts of other contexts, many not even American.

    Comment by Richard Scott Nokes — Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  2. Ah well, it still sounds cool (and I can see your point, I think).

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  3. Out of curiosity, what would be an actual example?

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  4. The Texas flag pledge, for one: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

    Probably not the type of example you were looking for, however :)

    Comment by Chris Lawrence — Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  5. I had forgotten that there was a Texas pledge.

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

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