Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 08:48:00 -0400
From: Larry Horn
Subject: Re: pundent

At 5:24 PM -0500 5/4/98, Mark Mandel wrote:
>Rather like "tenets" becoming "tenants", which I've noticed a lot. I can
>sort of see "tenant" as a case of thinking you hear
>a familiar word in an unfamiliar context, but what the heck, English is
>full of weird homophones, it must be the word I
>know. But "pundent" admits of no such explanation. However, there are
>plenty of English words ending in /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]nt/ ([AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] =
>schwa), and not many ending in /It ~ [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t/. But the strongest candidate of
>all, IMHO -- not necessarily acting alone -- is
>nasalization spreading from the first /n/. Discussion?
Possible influence from "pungent", which might be taken as applying to the
output of punditry? (maybe even from "pendant", if we think phonology
and/or grammatical category while ignoring the semantic field.)