Besides being a very naughty governor, South Carolina's Mark Sanford turns out to have a penchant for purple prose, as evidenced by his email correspondence with his Argentine inamorata. Here, from July 10, 2008, is one of the juicy bits:
I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently
gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves
of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two
magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light — but
hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the
steakhouse at dinner — and unlike you I would never do that!
I could ... but I won't. Such a coy lover, that Marco!
However, I was drawn to a more banal sentence in the same email. See if you can figure out why:
Tomorrow night back to Philadelphia for the start of the National
Governor’s Conference through the weekend. Back to Columbia for Tuesday
and then on Wednesday, as I think I had told you, taking the family to
China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand and then back through Hong Kong on
world wind tour.
It was the last three words that blew me away: "world wind tour." This apparent conflation of "world tour" and "whirlwind tour" turns out to be not a Sanford original but a fairly common eggcorn: a mis-heard term that's assigned a creative spelling (and definition too, usually). The Eggcorn Database lists six citations of world wind for whirlwind, and they're probably just the tip of the cyclone.
For the record, a whirlwind is "a small rotating windstorm" or, metaphorically, "a confused rush." Adjectivally, as in a whirlwind romance, it means "fast-moving" or "tempestuous." One of the most famous whirlwinds appears in Hosea 8:7: "For they sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind."*
Eggcorns are usually created when words are learned by ear rather than by reading. But amazingly, some people are capable of getting it wrong even when they know (and see!) the source of the phrase. Here's reader SilverHawk confidently and erroneously answering a question submitted to The Phrase Finder in which whirlwind is spelled correctly ("I was just hoping to find out the origin and meaning of the saying which goes something like 'sow the wind; reap the whirlwind'"). SilverHawk's spelling and punctuation sic:
this is a biblical verse "those who sow the wind shall reap the
worldwind" it means that that those to sow little seeds of evil (wind)
shall eventually have to harvest the entire crop of damage (worldwind).
simillar in meaning to "what goes around comes around." but with a
warning that it comes back multiplied. it may seem insignificant at the
time of sowing (e.g. gossip/rumour) but it can grow into a full blown
worldwind which will eventually distroy all including the sowers.
NASA, by the way, has created a downloadable open-source tool called World Wind that "lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth." Perhaps Gov. Sanford should use this World Wind, from the comfort of his den, the next time he gets a whim to hike the Patagonian Trail.
* Source: Masoretic text of the Old Testament— i.e., translated directly from Hebrew.