Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Registrations were closed for a long time because of forum spam, but I have re-opened them on a trial basis.
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Thanks for your understanding.
Chris -- 2015-05-30
“Kama” is Sanskrit for “love”; “Kama sutra” ~ “rules of love”. “Karma” is Sanskrit for “action, fate”, a well-known word in the anglosphere since the rise of syncretic Eastern / New-Age mysticism.
Examples on Google books: The Karma Sutra: Sex, Love, and Relationship Zen By Shelly Wu; Serpentauria By Daniel Erik Stoops, pp.139-140.
“Karma sutra” is apparently a real [Japanese?] Buddhist text, “The Sutra of Cause and Effect”.
Some instances of “Karma Sutra” may deliberate puns on karma as fate, cosmic balance, etc., rather than simple misspellings of Kama.
I don’t think it’s eggcornish in the real sense, there’s no confusion of meanings here, just someone’s inability to spell a previously unheard of (foreign) word, thus replacing it with one slightly more familiar. In other words, I don’t think anyone is necessarily using “karma” in the sense of “fate” thinking this is part of the meaning of the title of the Kama Sutra (except when doing this deliberately as some sort of high-brow pun)
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will buy a ridiculous hat – Scott Adams (author of Dilbert)
Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life – Terry Pratchett