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False Analogy (inherent[ly])

Languages develop largely along rational lines, and (proportional) analogy is often at the bottom of a particular development. However, as was noted here in recent posts, viz. on the pronunciation of the verb err and the government of the adjective courteous, the source of the analogy can be erroneous or false. This is what obtains in the common (all but exclusive) pronunciation of the adjective inherent (more frequently represented by the related adverb inherently), wherein the stressed vowel is made to rhyme with that of the much more frequent verb inherit rather than the actual deriving verb inhere, whose stressed vowel rhymes with here.

False analogy stems from imperfect learning and is a failure of thought. Requiescat in pace, oh, book learning of yore!

MICHAEL SHAPIRO

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