Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I’m currently clearing the attic of would-be, dubious and no-hoper eggcorns and this one’s been taking up space for a long time. I think it may have come about because of the appropriation of the word ‘avatar’ for gaming purposes, the original being a reincarnated Hindu deity. If ‘avatistic’ can be seen as some kind of heightened functioning, perhaps a Superego, then the original ‘atavistic’ is certainly the Id, referring to evolutionary throwback evidence or characteristics. It could be argued that ‘avatar’ needs an adjectival form, and also that ‘atavistic’ should yield the noun ‘atavar’ (already done – comic book hero apparently). I must add that they are surprisingly easy to confuse – I mistyped them at almost every opportunity on this page.
You’re welcome to pretend that your avatistic, Luddite philosophy is some solitary tower of rectitude, brian. Just like the Unabomber. ...
www.washingtonmonthly.com/ archives/individual/2007_03/010877.php – 171k – Cached
They picture shows avatistic legs not the vestigial bones in normal whales. I earlier provided evidence that the whole vestigial/recapitulation issue has …
I suppose that it fulfills some deep avatistic urge in soldiers. However, over and above this, society at this time confronts its soldiers with …
www.1jma.dk/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=251 – 111k – Cached
I’m cross-linking this to hstahlke’s thread assanine, assinine because I think some similar mechanism may be at work in both.
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/view … hp?id=2633
Contributor hstahlke suggests that ass is exerting some influence on the misspellings of asinine (as I understand him).
In a similar fashion, avatar may be exerting some influence on atavistic.
Avatistic, atavar, and assanine might all be simple typos or misspellings, but there could be some priming effect, or even a reshaping in the mental lexicon. In the case of avatistic some spoken usage would be useful to rule out typos. Then again, how often does atavistic come up in daily speech?
Infrequently in mine at least, but another attic item catches my eye – the substitution of ‘celebral’ (910 unique hits) for ‘cerebral’ – which I think takes place not only because it’s easier to unleash from the lip but because we’re seduced mid-word by a more familiar form; perhaps ‘celebrate’ floats nearer the surface than ‘cerebrum’. Also is often a tendency to neaten and tidy up or add an extra vowel, perhaps for sonority but sometimes to impose a sound the ear at least would prefer, as in ‘hypotheosis’, ‘trilology’ or ‘chronicological’. I don’t know where I’m going with this, but to my ear at least words beginning ‘ava…’ seem easier to articulate than those beginning ‘ata,,,’ perhaps because there are more of them(?), or they are more commonly used.