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alligator shear

alligator shear
 n.— «Mr. Graap and Agents Stern and Green moved into a brick building where a squat steel machine that was painted green and run by hydraulic power—known in the business as an alligator sheer for its resemblance to that reptile’s jaws—was waiting. The machine, which weighs about 2,500 pounds and is about the size of a Dumpster, is bolted to the floor. Its jaws generate about 200 tons of cutting force—no match for the guns.» —“Where Illegal Guns Can Do No More Harm” by Al Baker New York Times June 3, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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2 comments
  • The correct spelling is of course “alligator shear”. I’m surprised that the New York Times let such a glaring typo slip through.

  • You’re right. I’ve fixed it in the cite. Typos happen to the best of us.

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