Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I got an e-mail today in which someone referred to Splenda as “foe sugar.” I think this is particularly eggcorn-worthy because Splenda could be seen as a foe of sugar, or the people who use Splenda could be foes of sugar.
But I got curious and poked around on the Internet. Sure enough, there’s an awful lot of “foe leather” out there, and it isn’t all coming from PETA. There’s “foe fur,” too. One company has actually taken this eggcorn and built a business around it. Foe Fur (www.FoeFur.com), a company run by pet lovers—definite foes of fur—offers customized handbags with pictures of your pets on them.
There’s practically foe-everything, though many of them are actually typos—the E is right next to the R, so there’s plenty of “Like Water Foe Chocolate” out there…but that’s another story for another forum.
That’s a cute usage I never considered before. In most instances the pun is intended, and those per se wouldn’t qualify as eggcorns because eggcorns are supposed to be derived without the utterer knowing that the context has been changed.
But it’s quite likely that some substitutions of “foe” for “faux” are legitimate eggcorns. First, the two words are identical in pronunciation. And second, the less familiar word (faux) is replaced with a more familiar one (foe). That bodes well for eggcorn status…
It’s not always easy to get into the head of the utterer to determine whether a word substitution is intentional or accidental. Perhaps the most convincing evidence would come from a snippet where the context clues point irrefutably to an unintended usage. I’ll see if I can come up with any in a subsequent post.
Last edited by jorkel (2007-03-16 17:17:17)