The Fox at folks

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Josh Marshall, "The Murdoch Primary, Let's Call It", 12/30/2011:

Taken together the Murdoch media is a huge, huge voice in the US political conversation. But it’s an overpowering voice in intra-Republican questions. So who gets the Murdoch, Ailes and company nod, is a big big deal in a GOP primary race. Thus, the Murdoch primary.

So who won? It sort of slipped by in all the Newt craziness. But looking back over the last month we can see pretty clearly what happened. In late November the Fox at folks pretty clearly said WTF in response to the Newt surge, called it for Romney and got to work big time.

A nice example of lapsus calami (though I guess it should really be called lapsus digitorum): two phonologically-similar nouns swapping places.  Unless it's a joke that went over my head.

The obligatory screenshot:


  1. Dw said,

    December 30, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    I pronounce "folk" with the vowel of GOAT and a silent L. But I've also heard it said with the LOT (or THOUGHT) vowel as a pronounced L. Is it possible that some people combime these traits so that "folks" is homophonous with "fox"?

  2. Cameron Majidi said,

    December 30, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I suspect the author wavered between "the folks at Fox" and "the Fox folks", typed one of them, decided to change it, but didn't quite make all the needful edits. This is just editorial indecision, combined with lack of proofreading.

    [(myl) You might well be right, since the folks at TPM use "the Fox folks" and "the folks at Fox" about equally often. But I like the idea of a word exchange error in typing — I don't see them very often, and have a sort of bird-watcher's affection for such sightings…]

  3. Toma said,

    December 30, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    Also reads like "the Fox-it folks…" which sounds kinda cool. How about a new headline for this: Fox-it Folks Fix Election

  4. Victor said,

    December 30, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    CM's guess look right to me, but Toma's suggestion definitely does not match Marshall's language (I've been following TPM for over 5 years)

  5. JQ said,

    December 30, 2011 @ 10:25 pm


    Should that be Folksy Fix Foxes Election

  6. Observation said,

    December 31, 2011 @ 6:49 am


  7. MattF said,

    December 31, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    I suspect the editing/proofreading lapse is the right explanation, rather than anything phonological. As we all know, it's peculiarly difficult to edit and then proofread prose online. Something to do with vertical-at-a-distance rather than horizontal-on-your-desk, IMO.

  8. John Roth said,

    December 31, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Interesting. I puzzled over it when I read it originally, but that correction never occurred to me.

  9. xyzzyva said,

    December 31, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Funny thing is, if this was spoken instead of written my mind (and I suspect many others') would've just as easily put the nouns back in order, and I never would've noticed.

    At least, I'm pretty sure.

  10. John Chew said,

    January 9, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    Any comment on this article about an unfortunate lapsus linguae?

    "Shortly before a Toronto jury left the courtroom to start deliberations at Prinze Wilson’s cocaine-trafficking trial last spring, Madam Justice Faye McWatt of the Ontario Superior Court stressed the need to respect his presumption of innocence.

    "'It is only defeated if, and when, Crown counsel has satisfied you beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Guilty – I’m sorry, that Mr. Wilson – is guilty of the crime charged,' Judge McWatt said."

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