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#1 2008-07-12 21:11:04

snoker
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 3

'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

“I sprang my ankle Sat. do i need to go to the doctors?”
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/341102

“Did I sprang my ankle?”
http://www.golivewire.com/forums/peer-s … ort-a.html

“I sprung my ankle?”
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index … 401AAu27Q9

I imagine the writers are not aware of the slightly technical medical term “sprain,” and they are substituting a more familiar word, (spring/sprang/sprung) instead. The first example (“I sprang my ankle Sat.”) seems like a solid example of an eggcorn, because the word “sprang” as the past tense of “spring” does make some sense in terms of one meaning of the transitive verb “to spring.” Webster.com shows this definition: “To undergo or bring about the splitting or cracking of <wind sprang the mast>”

The tense confusion of “Did I sprang my ankle” makes this one a poor example of an eggcorn. It seems that the writer is simply substituting “sprang” for “sprain.” I wish I could find examples of “did I spring my ankle,” but a quick search turns up nothing.

Thoughts? Do we need to find the phrase “spring my ankle” somewhere in order to count “sprang my ankle” as an eggcorn?

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#2 2008-07-12 22:46:10

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

That’s a very nice eggcorn find, and you even propose a way to test it. (And I can’t stop laughing about it!) This one is an instant classic!

How ironic that a person who hears the expression as “sprang my ankle” decides that it needs to be grammatically corrected to “sprung my ankle.” I located several examples (below).

The Queen of E: Update
I injured my back and also sprung my ankle. Right after a good little Thanksgiving get away to my Moms. Joy! How I hurt it was I was getting out of bed and …
thequeenofe.blogspot.com/2008/01/update.html – 56k – Similar pages
http://thequeenofe.blogspot.com/2008/01/update.html

Dallas Podiatrists
Angelica R., “I had sprung my ankle and was recommended to this facility from my family doctor to help me get better. I went here for about a month and …” ...
www.insiderpages.com/s/TX/Dallas/Podiatrists – 22k – Similar pages
http://www.insiderpages.com/s/TX/Dallas/Podiatrists

YouTube – Negaduck’s Crime
Ok I sprung my ankle and i had to sit around so i got bored and made this video. This song is All of Me from Shadow The Hedgehog. Hope you enjoy it.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy66F05u0t4 – 104k – Similar pages
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy66F05u0t4

MyFoxAtlanta
The only reason why I’m sure of this is because I was deliverying news papers, at the time, and I sprung my ankle, trying to get back into my car. ...
community.myfoxatlanta.com/blogs/fox5wxsteve/200… – 37k – Similar pages
http://community.myfoxatlanta.com/blogs … h_in_a_row

Speed Kiter
I just sprung my ankle or something …At this point Terry is downwind about a kilometer or two and I painfully start kiting once again trying to favor my …
www.speedkiter.com/ski/journal.php?page=3&PHPSES… – 39k – Similar pages
http://www.speedkiter.com/ski/journal.p … mg7r4sc3r4

Last edited by jorkel (2008-07-12 22:50:44)

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#3 2008-07-13 00:21:24

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2030

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

Is this your present tense example?

” I slide on a little pond that has frozen, spring my ankle and hit the ground with a bam! Not as elegant as Bambi but as lost. ” (http://lifeinyonder.blogspot.com/2007/11/bambi.html)

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#4 2008-07-13 14:16:43

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

More present tense / plain form:

I have just completed the Great Wine and Dine Southeast Asia Tour that has carried me to Bangkok for 5 days, a train trip thought Malaysia for 5 days (nearly spring my ankle jumping off a train and chasing after another moving train. More on that later), and ended up in Singapore for 5 days.
http://www.pulpwoodqueen.com/2008/03/gr … -tour.html

i had spring my ankle badly today..my leg nw like a pig leg le..at 1st my leg cant even walk at all
http://tonyyeo-stickwithyou.blogspot.co … chive.html

you should try and find an excuse like do something to hurt yourself. like cut yourself trip over a rock spring your ankle.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index … 713AATJ8o9

They believe that in unpopulated areas live evil spirits, which can cause you to spring your ankle or something bad.
http://www.packers.org/peoplepgs/shamanism.htm

16 unique hits for “spring my ankle” and 3 for “spring your ankle”

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#5 2008-07-13 23:38:46

snoker
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 3

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

Thanks, all, for the present tense examples.

So now I have to wonder, can this be an eggcorn only in the past tense? I think we have a pretty good case for “sprain” >> “sprang”, but what do we make of “spring”?

Jorkel pointed out that I had suggested a way to test my eggcorn find, but now I wonder if it’s a valid test.

Are the writers aware of the specific meaning of “spring” (to bring about the splitting or cracking of) and using it correctly? Or, are they aware of the eggcorn (“sprang” for “sprain”) and, since “sprang” is past tense, they substitute the present tense or infinitive as needed? Of course, the word loses its similarity to “sprain” when the tense changes, but it really does seem like an eggcorn at work here to me.

Are there other eggcorns that have similarity in one tense but not in another?

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#6 2008-07-14 01:36:43

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

snoker asks:

Are the writers aware of the specific meaning of “spring” (to bring about the splitting or cracking of) and using it correctly?

The utterers probably aren’t refering to a legitimate (medical?) usage of “spring.” The examples presented are all taken out of a larger context, and I’m sure if you looked into them further you’d probably find they are just ordinary comments made by ordinary people. So, they’re probably referring to sprains and not something more complex. (I also have this vague recollection from my past of an individual calling a “sprain” a “sprang”).

Are there other eggcorns that have similarity in one tense but not in another?

I’ll have to ponder this one. I think we’ll try not to limit the question just to “tense” but include broader grammatical modification. The closest thing to it that I recall is the “play faster and looser” example. But this might be a fun exercise because we don’t always put consistency to the test.

Last edited by jorkel (2008-07-14 01:43:34)

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#7 2008-07-14 15:44:55

JonW719
Eggcornista
From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-09-05
Posts: 285

Re: 'sprang' for 'sprain' or 'sprained'

I grew up saying “sprang.” But I don’t remember if I knew “sprained” by sight even while pronouncing the word as “sprang.” I suspect that might be the case.

There is a the word sprung that means that something is bowed, warped, or bent usually from strain or stress (such as a tool or piece of equipment). Perhaps that is the etymological leap that connects “sprang” to “sprained.”


Feeling quite combobulated.

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