Originally, I was a not too happy about McCain’s choice for a running mate, Sarah Palin … However, after her speech tonight I am beginning to see her in a different light. She seems like a real fighter, someone who would stick it to the lobbyist and special-interest groups that have run ramped in Washington. Her perspective between Obama and McCain was brilliant. … Palin hit it on the nail, the Democratic Party is about big government and high taxes. McCain has walked the walk on change while Obama has to date only talked the talk about change.Hey, somebody notify Language Log! "Run ramped" is a fabulous eggcorn -- "a kind of word creation due to a mishearing that a glance at the written form would normally have corrected." The writer obviously meant "run rampant."
I love the association with the vogue use of the phrase "ramped up," which William Safire wrote about in his "On Language" column here:
Who is there to restrain this kudzulike growth of ramp, up and down? A myriad of readers (including those who prefer the adjective form, as in ''myriad readers'') have urged this department to take to the ramparts. In Old French, ramper was ''to creep or crawl.'' Its first appearance in English was in a 1390 poem: ''A litel Serpent on the ground, Which rampeth al aboute round.'' Three centuries later, John Milton contributed to its meaning of crawling upward: ''Surely the Prelates would have Saint Pauls words rampe one over another, as they use to clime into their Livings and Bishopricks.'' Shakespeare's contemporary Ben Jonson used it to lead off the couplet that has become the epitome of realism: ''Ramp up my genius, be not retrograde; But boldly nominate a spade a spade.''Now, now, Ben Jonson wasn't talking about Obama, and I didn't read that part of the paragraph until after I pasted it in. I'm just interested in this word-root "ramp" and its present-day manifestations "ramp up" and "rampant" and how they converged in that eggcorn."Rampant" denotes a virulent growth, while "ramp" mostly refers to rising up. Not really that different, but "run ramped" seems like something from the 16th century.