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#1 2009-02-25 06:42:08

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2152

brunt X << brute X & blunt X

I’ve come to the end of the list of eggcorns I have culled from Jan Freeman’s articles (background in my post at http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/view … p?id=3482.). As with the wine at Cana, the best has been saved for last: the adjective “brunt,” as used in the phrase “brunt force.”

Freeman’s discussion of the word is at http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas … /pony_up/. The short of her discussion is that the adjective “brunt” is probably an eggcornical blend of the adjectives “brute” and “blunt.”

The use of “brunt” as an adjective so common that at least one editor, as Freeman points out, has let it pass. I can’t find any examples of the adjective “brunt” in COCA or BNC, so most editors still have their wits about them. Nevertheless, the usage is uncommonly common. A google search yields ghits in the millions for “brunt force” and even the ughits are in the hundreds. It’s only a matter of time, I suspect, before dictionaries begin to recognize the usage.

Last edited by kem (2009-04-28 00:35:57)

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#2 2009-02-26 22:50:31

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1780
Website

Re: brunt X << brute X & blunt X

Related errors:

He was the brunt of all our jokes

But how can husbands feel respected, appreciated, or loved when they are the constant brunt of their wives’ negativity about everything?

Perhaps X and Y have become the brunt of some isolated attack or personal vendetta

In all of those “brunt” = ± “target”, likely blending in “butt” at some level besides “bear the brunt”.

poorer communities often bear the blunt of hazardous waste disposal. ¶ [Paul Brians noted this one.]

Shell was terrified as the shark brushed against Russ, then she relaxed as he had managed to withstand the blunt.

You and Chris have paid the brunt of it.

He’s the brunt of this outfit, and she’s the brains.

The brunt of the storm destroyed Charlotte County’s Office of Emergency Management

there are no times when you have to check back on what HTML was added by the software as there is no extra HTML added, not unless you want there to be. The simple brunt of it is if you want a Professional piece of software for free, that won’t alter or corrupt your programming, 1st page 2000 is the one to get, simple.

I’m usually the bunt of the jokes

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-02-26 22:53:38)


*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 .)

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#3 2009-02-27 16:55:10

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2152

Re: brunt X << brute X & blunt X

Joe—MWDEU does not have an entry for “brunt.”

David – Good sleuthing. It seems we must add “butt” to the “brute/blunt/brunt” complex. I’m beginning to think that people have large fuzzy spots in their brains where the semantic contents of the words “brute,” “blunt,” “brunt,” and “butt” are stored. Speakers do not have a good handle on the meaning of these terms.

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#4 2009-02-27 17:06:51

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1780
Website

Re: brunt X << brute X & blunt X

Yes. Our brains are full of “large fuzzy spots”. Some are larger and fuzzier than others, to be sure.
.
(Add “brawn” to your list there, perhaps …)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-02-27 17:55:04)


*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 .)

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#5 2009-04-09 04:38:11

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 652

Re: brunt X << brute X & blunt X

kem wrote:

It seems we must add “butt” to the “brute/blunt/brunt” complex. I’m beginning to think that people have large fuzzy spots in their brains where the semantic contents of the words “brute,” “blunt,” “brunt,” and “butt” are stored. Speakers do not have a good handle on the meaning of these terms.

Yeah, I just found this one tonight on my local chat-list: “It seems to me, that homosexuals are always the blunt of some thread or another on WACCO.BB…” The context would seem to indicate that “blunt” was substituted for “butt”, yet because of the similarity of “blunt” to “brunt”, I can’t help thinking that “brunt” is part of the confusion in the writer’s mind.

Dixon

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#6 2009-04-09 05:33:47

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 951

Re: brunt X << brute X & blunt X

If I follow you, Dixon, you’re saying that a brute can, without semantic difficulty, blunt the brunt of a blow with his brawny butt without grunting. Actually, without wishing to be politically uncorrect, it looks to me as if the writer’s mind on your local chat-list very wisely refused to permit itself to use “butt” where “blunt” was used in that sentence.

I’m all for blends, but their force is blunted when opposites are combined. Things get very dicey when you speak not of brunt force, but brunting the force of something. The sense, or lack of, or senses, of the following three instances of that phrase are all different. The novelty here is the use of brunt as a verb.

The first invokes “upbreast”, grunt (and front?). The second, weathered? The third, a shortening of “borne the brunt of”.

Trevor stamped bumps of soil into submission as I grunted and brunted the force of my sternum against a wheelbarrow of dirt.
(http://www.sundress.net/stirring/archiv … 2/roys.htm)

But hasn’t Colossus’s metal form brunted the force of Wolverines attacks before. Or am I just thinking about that Ultimate X-Men issue? I could’ve swore it happened in the mainstream universe too.
(http://www.marvel.com/boards/viewtopic. … 15523b88c0)

When they finally landed, rather forcefully as it was, on the beach, Fluck was luckily on top, and Gilmont had brunted the force of the landing instead.
(http://forums.narutofan.com/showthread.php?p=19985020)

Last edited by burred (2009-04-09 13:45:34)

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