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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2007-11-06 13:05:42

Registered: 2007-11-06
Posts: 3

"self of steam" for "self esteem"

I teach introductory college writing, and I have seen “self of steam” twice in thirteen years. Eggcorn? I think so.



#2 2007-11-06 13:20:09

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

It’s nice when you get a firsthand account of an eggcorn. (It’s even nicer when you can go back and interview the utterer for the imagery). I’m guessing these utterers are long gone, but perhaps we could discuss the imagery a bit.



#3 2007-11-06 20:31:21

From: Austin, Tx
Registered: 2007-04-01
Posts: 179

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

I guess one’s ego can’t quite chug along with low self of steam.



#4 2007-11-07 13:42:34

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

Something of a classic, even though its eggcorn status may be uncertain. Long before I heard the term “eggcorn,” I was seeing this on lists of students’ malapropisms gathered by English teachers. I’ve had the privilege of encountering “take it for granite” a few times on student papers, but “self of steam” has so far eluded me.

There’s a somewhat eccentric early Database comment on this term:

#64 Commentary by hobodog , 2005/02/25 at 1:53 pm
“self of steam”/”self-esteem” [English]: an elusive (allusive?) and nebulous concept which is slowly losing theoretical ground in the varied attempts by sociology to isolate and define the root factors and formative causes of less than optimal levels of personal performance by certain underachievers on the world (whirled?) stage.
example: “The social worker blames my low self of steam for my failing grades in English.”

Last edited by patschwieterman (2007-11-07 13:43:19)



#5 2007-11-08 00:23:33

From: Brookline, MA
Registered: 2006-10-09
Posts: 80

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

In the nineteenth century women used to suffer from the “vapors,” or high self-of-steam.



#6 2009-06-26 08:09:09

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

“Self of steam” is one of the earliest entries to this site, and a true classic. Here are some related versions that are common enough to clinch its eggcornicity. Don’t miss the last example.

Iranian democrat, Ali Akbar Dehkhoda:
Interestingly, the people of Kerman had never seen Dehkhoda but held him in high steam because of his writings and his taunting of the deputy governor, Nosrat-al-doleh, who was an eighteen year old political appointee despised by the people of Kerman.

Pakistan-China relations:
The speaker NA said that the people and the present democratically elected government keep Sino-Pak relations in high steam as China is our most trusted friend.
( … -24-04.php)

Filipina celeb site:
I hold Bea in high steam.

Ultimate guitar dot com:
Maybe it’s not overrated it’s simply one of the best guitar designs ever made and thats why everyone holds them in high steam and the sound is really great I have one myself and it kicks everything else i ply on on ass
( … index.html)

Life things blog:
I also want to share with you all my personal struggles, which I hope may peak some people’s interest. [...] They have seen their values emerge out, and even the perverts have founded a sign off resurrection in its nest. The people is waiting with hope! Because life will be hold in high steam.
( … -land.html)

Straight-acting gay pop musician:
BEEP…. BEEP…. BEEP….....back away from the low self-steam, I am better than those queens gay guy.

Iowa biographies, 1918:
They were highly steamed people of the community and left behind them a large circle of warm friends.
( … 1918-b.htm)

There are over 800 “low self steam”, 25 “high self steam” leghits. See also inesteemable/inestimable



#7 2009-06-26 14:16:16

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

I think burred’s examples are a big improvement on “self of steam,” which I never felt worked well image-wise. “High steam” and “self-steam” fit better because they lend more immediacy to the connotations of buoyancy and drive implicit in the steam figure. “Self-steam” in particular makes me think of “the little engine who could”—certainly a picture of confident self-esteem. These reshapings may get reinforcement from other idioms like “under one’s own steam” and “with a head of steam.”



#8 2011-06-18 04:55:20

From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 426

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

I resuscitate this thread to report:

My friends say i have no self a steam

One of many that can be googled. Semantics anyone?

On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.



#9 2011-06-20 10:00:34

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1554

Re: "self of steam" for "self esteem"

More heady disembodied a.

Went thru the entire family like a house a fire, we’re all well now, knock on wood.
Dire rear

I go like a horse a fire for a while then I burn out and then start again.
Genealogy bug

They’re more poetic than the alternative, a strange hypercorrection.

A game within a game where the woman acts submissive and scared and helpless and that arouses the male and they get it on like a house of fire.
Pop psychology

How about a neatly twisted blendoid.

“Lebron is like a full-back. With a full steam of head you’re not going to be able to grab him.”- Reggie Miller
Sports blog



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