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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2009-01-21 18:42:36

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1010

'coinstance' for 'coincidence'

While we’re on the co’s, there seems to be a technical term ‘co instance’ and it appears to relate to engineering or linguistics but I can find no dictionary entry for it. Many ghits use it where one might expect ‘coincidence’ and it seems a fine false etymology, with the only alteration in imagery, if any, being that the two parts occur simultaneously, perhaps:

Once is an “instance,” twice would be a “co-instance,” three or more establishes a “pattern.” A 15-year-old girl was hanged and pummeled by fellow students, ... – 16k – Cached

Later I’ve found out by accident that by coinstance my roommate had the exact class at the exact same time, except in a different room, ... =2200 – 23k – Cached

I do not think it is a coinstance that both Jimsy from Future Boy Conan and Lin from Spirited Away both love eating dried up newts! ... – 57k – Cached

But still, one can’t help but wonder was it a mere coinstance that Hitler chose June 22 or was it a tribute to Napoleon? This is simply amazing. ... – 26k – Cached

but dont you find it a strange coinstance that over time random people have come here to sound … or perhaps it really is a coinstance. darkshadowsseeker … – 29k – Cached

(There must be some technical term for the figure/ground kind of alternating perception some people – I mean myself of course – have with words like ‘coinstance,’ which insists on presenting itself as an attitudinizing disc of metal money. I usually spell ‘misspelling’ as ‘mis-spelling’ because otherwise Miss Pelling makes her presence felt, greatly impeding the flow of prose. I choose to believe this is entirely normal.)



#2 2009-01-23 17:23:07

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2148

Re: 'coinstance' for 'coincidence'

The mix-up between instance, incidence, and incident(s) is notable: it seems to show up in just about any context where any of the words is commonly used. Somewhat similar to conscious, conscience, and conscientious.
Your co-in/coin kind of alternation has a lot of examples in the thread about “Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind”. bedraggled (love that one), potsherd, misled, cooperation, etc. etc. The prevalence of such reshapings and their persistence even when they have been “corrected”, provides some degree of substation or instantion for your claim that this is entirely normal. I applaud your choice of normality (being myself also among the afflicted).

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-01-23 17:28:28)

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#3 2016-01-13 12:03:22

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2589

Re: 'coinstance' for 'coincidence'

I came across an intentional example of this substitution in the fractured speech of Lorelei Lei, the protagonist of Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

So Major Falcon was really quite interested in everything I talked about, because he said it was quite a co-instance because this District Attorney, who is called Mr. Bartlett, is now working for the government of America…

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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