On Radio National today a well-spoken man repeatedly said, 'And that's a whole nother issue.' He'd probably be surprised to listen to a replay of the program and hear his mangling of the word other.
Yet his accidental changing of a common word echoes a historic process. A woman tying an apron around her waist doesn't think about napkins or napery, because the n has migrated from the article to the noun and hidden the etymological relationship between the three words.
The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories tells the story of this word-evolution and also of the transformation of nadder(serpent) into adder.
When we speak it's often hard to distinguish the boundaries of words. My mother’s elderly friend invariably stopped eating before her plate was empty, wiped her lips neatly with a folded serviette and announced, ‘No more for me, thanks. I’ve already had an elegance efficiency.’ This idiosyncratic turn of phrase died with her, unfortunately.