Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
jorkel, posting regarding “A Smattering of Eggcorns”, wrote:
At the other extreme, I suppose we could have “finders” who might simply stumple upon a pre-collected list like Wade’s and provide the analysis of each entry—laying down the formal steps to ascertain eggcornicity—without giving the original locator credit (or even the first shot at it).
Possibly you did this on purpose, j, but anyway, lots of other people have done it too. (I got 9k ghits in October last year, 119k just now!).
I think this may be recuperating an etymology: despite the etymology from Old Norse stumla or whatever it is that dictionaries cite, it is too transparently a frequentative with -le from stump for that not to have been a common analysis at some point. (Cf. bump/bumble, grump/grumble, hop/hobble, drip/dribble …) One source says, re stump (n.); Earliest form of the word in Eng. is a now-obs. verb meaning “to stumble over a tree-stump or other obstacle,” attested from c.1250. Meaning “part of a tree trunk left in the ground after felling” is from 1440. Sense of “walk clumsily” is first recorded 1600.The verbal stump may be preserved in our modern “stump along”, though perhaps it’s derived from the noun, meaning to walk like a peg-legger..
Anyhow, it’s eggcorn-like in taking something not saliently analyzable and making an analysis much more prominent.
Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-07-25 03:49:32)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .