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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2008-04-02 04:43:50

Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 9

Here's a new one

Wrecked with guilt.

“Oiler cried throughout the hearing, and said in a statement read by her attorney that she’s wrecked with guilt.”


Or could it be wracked with guilt…?

Again, embarrassed for my colleages of (allegedly) J-school degree, and in the city from which America’s first Journalism school sprang: Madison, Wisconsin.



#2 2008-04-02 13:51:59

Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: Here's a new one

I think that’s a really fun eggcorn!

There are lots of other people using it that way, per Google.

I also wonder if perhaps they should have put that in quotes? Because it’s from that statement, so perhaps that’s exactly the word her attorney said. And the reporter & editors didn’t notice?



#3 2008-04-03 17:50:13

Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: Here's a new one

This is probably a demi-eggcorn, which Arnold Zwicky defined as “errors in which one or more parts of an expression are re-spelled so as to replace opaque parts by recognizable lexical material, but without any noticeable improvement in the semantics.” … 05026.html

Oxford English Dictionary defines wracked as “That has undergone or suffered wreck, esp. shipwreck; ruined, destroyed.” In other words, it means the same thing that wrecked does.

Of course, wrecked is more common (about 8 million raw Google hits) than wracked (about 981,000). Furthermore, more than 40% of those pages in Google that contain wracked also contain either guilt or pain, suggesting that it probably appears commonly in set phrases.

There are several related threads in the Forum:
‘Wrack’ vs. ‘rack’

Theory of the Stealth Eggcorn … hp?id=1649

“nerve raking” for “nervewracking” … hp?id=2083

‘wrapped/rapt’ for ‘racked’ (with pain) … hp?id=2277

And the new one, inspired by this one:
‘wrapped with guilt’ for ‘wracked with guilt’ … hp?id=2598



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