Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Jun 14 08:29:07 CDT 2000

At 11:37 AM 6/13/00 -1000, you wrote:
>I  always had a hard time comprehending the phrase
>"He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time".
>Shouldn't it be:
>He was at that (particular) place at the wrong time.
>He was at the wrong place at that (particular point in) time.  ????
>Or was it just meant to be a tricky phrase?

I believe it is phrased in this fashion to emphasize the opinion that if
the unfortunate person had not ever been at that place OR had been there at
some other time, the accident would not have befallen.  It highlights the
fact  that two independent variables had to coincide to produce the
accident: space and time.  There is probably some term in linguistics for
such statements.

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-7085
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

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