Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
A friend mentioned seeing plans for a cemetery including a “column burial” area.
The writer apparently meant “columbarial,” the adjective form of “columbarium,” literally meaning a pigeon(hole), which is most typically used as a place to store a dead person’s ashes, rather than having them in a container in the home, or a private burial structure.
I’m guessing the idea for the person making this mistake is thinking of the columns of holes the people are buried in. Or that the structure has columns, making it appear classical and suitably formal and reverent.
http://www.ci.truth-or-consequences.nm. … orial.html
“Column Burial Site” (photo caption)
“At the far end of the property a permanent shelter and a column burial site overlooking the Rio Grande River.”
http://www.arlingtonmn.com/cemetary/doc … mber27.pdf
[confirms that they are indeed talking about a place to store ashes]
“Bigaouette commented that Pat McGraw was supposed to present information on column burial structures, but was not going to be at the meeting due to a mix up with his calendar. He informed Bigaouette that the column structures are costly (over $10,000 depending on size) and he didn’t think they were very sturdy. Borchert commented that this structure was not planned for, but thought it was something that should be looked at for the future (approximately 5 years out) as the cremation rate continues to rise (approximately 40% state wide).”
“Does the cemetery have column burial sites for cremations? Not at the present time. There are plans for this in the future.”
http://www.sierradelrio.com/nearby-attr … /index.php
“a permanent shelter and a column burial site overlooking the Rio Grande River.”
“Area of concern: A column burial area with a meandering path”
There are many more one can find Googling.
Very nice find! I didn’t check this too carefully, but it would appear that both elements of your eggcorn have distinct etymology from the parent word (as you suggested)...
columb… —-> column
(bar)ial —-> burial
I just thought this might go overlooked in your post and was noteworthy enough to restate.
39 unique Google hits for “column burial”, with about half of them eggcorns.
Last edited by jorkel (2007-10-28 07:55:22)
A really great find. I also like the etymological analogy between urn “burial” and the pigeon-holes in a dovecote.
I don’t know that column-barium quite qualifies, since I don’t think people mean the element barium. Most occurences in Google of those words together were medical in nature but there were a few referring to inter(n)ment.
“This would be inscribed on an urn or column or over the niche in the column-barium where his ashes rested.”
http://www.lambtonshores.ca/Docs/06%20F … 202007.pdf
“The Board has submitted a proposal to build a Column Barium that will satisfy requests from the public, and will help extend the life of the cemetery.”
Wow, very cool mutation. Interesting that the idea of columns persists.
Perhaps they are thinking “barium” == “bury ‘em.”
Somehow I missed this exchange completely when I did my search on columnbarium yesterday.