Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
On The New York Observer’s Web site today, a reporter is describing a contentious vote to allow Columbia University to go forward with an expansion plan into Harlem: “Mr. Cantor spoke a little while later, and praised Ms. Burden for ‘enduring the most abusive personal vindictive.’” I know the reporter and asked to make sure the mistake wasn’t his, and he said the speaker did indeed refer to “personal vindictive.” While in part this is just an error, and there is a grammatical error in it, I do think it is a reinterpretation of a common phrase, “personal invective.”
Welcome to the site, Verlaine! It’s pretty rare to get an eyewitness account of something eggcornish—very cool.
“Invective” does seem like the main thing getting reshaped here. I wonder whether “personal vendetta” might be causing a bit of interference, too. That’s hardly clear, but maybe possible.
Another substitution for “invective” is “infective.” An eggcorn wannabe, if not an eggcorn. Often the outcome of invection is purulent moral infection.
: “Because I preferred to do this in a forum where this wouldn’t descend into personal infective, the hurling of insults, and….for that matter….sarcasm. ”
: “sound of a remote control bouncing off a TV screen with force followed by a stream of infective that could be described as colourful”
: “Those who are informed, intuitive and reflective just might entertain the prospect that there is another side to the avalanche of infective that people … such as Jimmy hold”