cold » coal

Chiefly in:   coal-hearted

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • There’s nothing worse than reading a story in which every person you meet is either a coal-hearted villain or a pure sweet-blooded soul. ( customer review, May 31, 2004)
  • Some coal-hearted landlords have suggested that they are face-lifting a community in need of maintenance by tearing down and rebuilding at twice the original size and four times the original value, but I ask you: How can you afford to fix a roof that’s caving in if the sky is going to fall on your head first? (The Daily Tar Heel, Jan 16, 2004)
  • Folks, can you imagine how they must have felt at the moment they found out, fairly early in the date, that they weren’t dating a warm and engaging woman but a coal-hearted harpy. (blog post, Apr 21, 2004)
  • Initially I did not want to go to Disneyland because a) Huge chunk of my spending money would have to go there since, well, admission is not cheap izzit; and b) I’m old therefore the Disney magic would be lost on jaded, coal-hearted me. (blog post, June 15, 2008)
  • Were conservatives cruel and coal-hearted before Bush-Cheney? (Deroy Murdock, National Review Online, August 11, 2004)

Analyzed or reported by:

_Coal-hearted_ was first noted by our frequent contributor Ken Lakritz, who immediately pointed out the formal similarity to _goal standard_: deletion of the final consonant _d_, leading to a re-interpretation of the metaphor. A classic eggcorn.

This was, however, not the end. A year later, still in the Eggcorn forums, Peter Forster noted the curious expression _(a hooker with a) heart of coal_, which occurs in a reversal of the wide-spread cliché _… with a heart of gold_. Peter and our poster jorkel both supply numerous examples, and it is jorkel who links this image back to the eggcorn _coal-hearted_.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/08/25 |

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