For some reason, since September 2004 people have suddenly started using `on accident’ rather than `by accident’ – what the hell happened in September 2004?
According to Wikipedia in September’14 the only two noteworthy accidents were:
“UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir seriously injured in motorcycle accident”
“A train crash in Sweden kills two and injures 30. The accident happened when a passenger train collided with a lorry on a railway crossing in Kristianstad. (BBC)“
Neither of which seem to be particularly language-defining… So, after a bit of digging, I found this paper which shows that seemingly unanimously, a whole age group divided on the matter, creating the `on accident’ generation, who, in turn show up in writing online in the latter months of 2004.
Very, very weird.
- “What Speakers Don’t Notice: Language Changes Can Sneak In” – L. Barratt,Indiana State University USA – http://www.inst.at/trans/16Nr/01_4/barratt16.htm