Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
This works well as an eggcorn: something that’s incinerated is in fact reduced to cinders. “Incinerate” and “cinder” aren’t related etymologically. “Incinerate” is derived from Latin cinis, cineris (“ash”), which also gave rise to the French cendre (“ash”). “Cinder,” by contrast, is derived from Old English sinder (“slag”), which has a good Teutonic pedigree. But there is a centuries-old eggcornish connection that helps make this more common. The OED entry on “cinder” has this etymological note:
[An erroneous spelling of sinder, OE. sinder (synder) scoria, slag of metal: corresp. to OHG. sintar, sinter, etc., MHG. and mod.G. sinter, ON. sindr (Sw. sinder, Da. sinner) all pointing to an OTeut. *sindro(m. The word has no etymological connexion with F. cendre, L. cinerem ashes, although the notion that it has, has both given rise to the current spelling cinder, and influenced the later sense
You can tell this was written in the 19th century – today, a lexicographer would be unlikely to label the standard spelling of cinder “erroneous.” But the point of that Victorian harrumphing is that cendre, the French word for “ash,” influenced the spelling of Old English sinder, which meant nearly the same thing. We’d probably still be writing “sinder” if William the Bastard hadn’t invaded in 1066. So “incinderate” kind of closes the circle: nowadays, the word derived from Old English has influenced the shape of the word derived from Latin.
Altogether, “incinerate” and its various derivatives pull in a few thousand hits, but that number is inflated by references to a well-known racehorse named “Incinderator.” If you subtract those, I suspect you’d be left with about 300-400 raw hits. Examples:
I hate the smell of Raw or cooked or rotted or incinderated pumpkin. Reminds me of the smell of kindergarten puke when the janitor sprinkled that sawdust stuff on it so he could sweep it up.
Next thing they will be telling the people of Rahway the Incinderator
needs another smokestack…
http://www.yabbers.com/phpbb/viewtopic. … cnj&p=9489
UNWANTED BY-PRODUCTS: Glenavy residents fear that the emissions from the proposed incinderator could create a health hazard
http://www.irishnews.com/searchlog.asp? … sid=286891
They catch pests, incinderate them, and spread the ashes through the vineyard.
A combustion control method for application in an incinerator with a fluidized bed for burning matter to be incinderated charged into said incinerator by causing fluidization of a fluidizing medium with the assistance of primary air fed from the lower portion of said fluidized bed,
[“Incinerated” and “incinerator” both appear.]
A few years back, I began developement of a process to encapulate and incinderate high level nuclear waste.
http://www.whatsnextnetwork.com/technol … waste_harm
If someone is aiming a nuke at Silo A then it CAN’T attack Silo A’s adjacent neighbors (Silos B and C) because the nuclear fireball that incinderates Silo A will also incinderate the incoming warheads aimed at Silos B and C—and Silo B and C are just far enough away to not be damaged by the attack on Silo A)
http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/ … nalism.php
Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-06-14 04:22:39)
An instant classic. Surprising that no one has noticed this before.
Another lost radical. Whatever happened to “cinerate?” (“I tried to destroy the incriminating document with a match, but I only managed to cinerate the edges.”)
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.