rapt » wrapped

Classification: English – questionable

Spotted in the wild:

  • As he settled into his new clubhouse Sunday, Leiter seemed as if he could have been a coach. Before he had taken off his dress pants, he was wrapped in a conversation with the bullpen coach Neil Allen, his former Yankees teammate. (New York Times, July 18, 2005)
  • Young mom, though seemingly oblivious and wrapped in conversation, didn’t miss a beat, and corrected her son with downtown, seen-it-all aplomb - “Don’t touch the big snake, sweetie, we’re going out for pizza” - before they strolled away. (New York Times, July 11, 2005)
  • And as you will discover, we are going to listen in wrapped attention, because what you have to say is very important to us and—as we go about our very important work. (House Committee on Science transcript, Oct. 29, 2003)

or is it rapped? This one has always puzzled me. The usage “I was really XrapXXX that you called me” seems to date back to the early 70s, but it was so much a spoken idiom that I don’t recall seeing it written for some years.

[Examples added 7/18/05 by Ben Zimmer, entry marked ‘questionable.’ _Rapt_ and _wrapped_ can both mean ‘absorbed, engrossed,’ so it’s difficult to assign eggcorn status when used in the construction “to be wrapped/rapt in (thought, conversation, etc.).” _Wrapped_ seems much more eggcornish when directly modifying a noun, as in “wrapped attention.” As for the usage noted by @ndrew, that appears to be an Australian colloquialism meaning ‘overjoyed, delighted.’ According to Oxford and Encarta, this is considered a blend of _wrapped up_ and _rapt_.]

| link | entered by @ndrew, 2005/03/20 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Sravana Reddy , 2005/03/20 at 2:44 am

    Hm… haven’t seen that, but it brought to mind another related one… ‘wrapped’>>’rapt’, as in ‘wrapped up in my own problems’>>’rapt up in my own problems’. The eggcorn turns up a disappointing 11 google hits, though I’m sure I’ve seen it more. It _is_ a semantic reanalysis of sorts… rapt with attention, with oneself… though of course, with a less positive tilt.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Sally Cassil , 2005/04/08 at 6:56 pm

    This reminds me of the peculiar title “Wrapt in Crystal” by Sharon Shinn (otherwise a good SF/fantasy writer), which has always bothered me. Was it a deliberate attention-getting device or a confusion of “rapt” and “wrapped”?

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