Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I can find absolutely nothing on the web to substantiate this, but I’ll post it anyway.
There’s the word “cockamamy” (stress on the first syllable) which means “ridiculous.” Then, there’s the word “cacophony” (stress on the second syllable) which means “harsh sound.” I could swear that sometime, somewhere I heard the neologism “cockaphony” (stress on the first syllable) as a replacement for “cockamamy.” It might even have taken on the combined notion of “cockamamy” + “phony.”
Now, if we consider the word “cacophony” in the dictionary, an inattentive reader may completely ignore the intended stress on the second syllable. Then, with the stress placed on the first syllable, the same inattentive reader may believe “cacophony” to be an adjective meaning “harsh sounding” (rather than “harsh sound”). So, “cockaphony excuses” might be interpreted as excuses that insult ones senses. Perfectly logical, right?
But alas, I can’t find any validation of this theory on the internet. Has anyone else had a similar experience, or is this the most cockaphony eggcorn ever?
Joe, I’ve heard cacophony pronounced ‘cackaphony’ with the stress on the first syllable but as ‘cockamamy’ is a bit of a rarity over here I’m sure there’s no relationship. Equally frequently I’ve heard the word stressed normally but with the first two vowels transposed – ‘cocaphony’ yields 263 unique hits and may have some influence on your ‘cockaphony.’ Finally – isn’t it strange how we feed off one another – there are a number of apparently genuine hits for ‘cacoughony’, which is surely eggcornish?