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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2007-03-13 19:23:11

jmswisher
Member
Registered: 2007-03-13
Posts: 2

fabricated (predicated) on the assumption

Slip? innovation? eggcorn?

I spotted this in an email from a coworker:

“the design … is fabricated on an assumption that you don’t want to refactor existing code”

I’m far more familiar with the phrase “predicated on [an, the] assumption”. I found only 17 google hits on the “fabricated” phrase (vs. 20,000 hits for the “predicated” phrase), almost all in patents for semiconductors or related inventions. Since the process of manufacturing semiconductors is “fabrication”, it’s possible for this juxtaposition to occur naturally. Some of the google hits use “fabricated” in the restricted sense of “manufactured” that is typically used with respect to semiconductors. Others, like my coworker’s use (which is in the domain of software, not hardware), have the more general sense of “designed”. The common semantic notion is “building”—you can build an argument or you can build a computer chip. If you can build an argument or a design on an assumption, then “fabricated on” works as well “predicated on”.

Thoughts?
—Janet

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#2 2007-03-16 18:45:11

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: fabricated (predicated) on the assumption

Slip? innovation? eggcorn?
“the design … is fabricated on an assumption that you don’t want to refactor existing code”

I found only 17 google hits on the “fabricated” phrase (vs. 20,000 hits for the “predicated” phrase

I’d say the words “fabricate” and “predicate” are too far apart in sound for this to qualify as an eggcorn. And, the utterer may have been as focussed on “the design is fabricated” construction as the “fabricated on the assumption” construction. Clearly, “fabricated” is not the optimal word for either, but people sometimes go with words that are close enough to their intended meaning—rather than seek precise words—in their Emails.

But having said that, I’m still a major proponent of the notion that alternate words sometimes suggest themselves from common constructs. For instance, I’m convinced that people say “he speaks elegantly” only because it sounds like “he speaks eloquently”—which I believe to be a more apt phrase. Apparently, both usages are OK.

Last edited by jorkel (2007-03-16 18:50:11)

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