In which I end up with a pit in my stomach

An article in today’s Boston Globe (available online only to subscribers) quotes a New Hampshire state rep as saying “I had a pit in my stomach” when he saw an inaccurate résumé from a colleague.  Ouch! I would have expected something like “I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach,” but I guess I haven’t been paying attention.  Here’s an interesting article giving all kinds of similar usages from the Times.  Language Log recently ran a followup, noticing that Thomas Friedman continues to have a pit in his stomach.  The original article connects these two versions of the cliché with the competition between “hone in on” and “home in on,” which I certainly have noticed.

Here’s the Google ngram for “pit in my stomach,” which shows that the usage has been taking off starting around 1990 (although it’s still relatively rare compared to the much older “pit of my stomach”).

As the article in Language Log says, the newer usage is not obviously less plausible than the older usage — we’re just more familiar with “pit of my stomach”.  So who am I to complain?  Still, “pit in my stomach” gives me a bad feeling . . . somewhere or other.

5 thoughts on “In which I end up with a pit in my stomach

  1. Pingback: As they are want to do | richard bowker

  2. Pingback: Bad words from yesteryear | richard bowker

  3. Pingback: I am loathe to criticize anyone but . . . | richard bowker

  4. Pingback: Is your solution in the cloud or on-premise? | Richard Bowker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.