Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I frequently come across used items, which are clearly not stained or blemished, advertised as being “in maculate condition” ...
Electric roof and window, black leather, well looked after and have owned the car for over 13 years, bodywork in maculate condition, additional clifford …
A similar confusion, possibly eggcornish, exists when immaterial is reintrepreted as in material, where the imagery could be of a mere formless fabric awaiting some kind of metaphoric needlework to make it complete.
Nothing had changed and there was no newly discovered evidence and this recent submission from Oxford was in-material to the underlying allegations of the…
Maturity level is in material to the subject at hand.
It is in-material to us, the holier than thou accusations, what we need is a true leader for the people, with sincerity to make all …
Even if he was using other peoples material in his consulting and advising, that is in-material to the fact he is selling this information …
In some of those examples “in-material” seems to mean that something relates to mundane, simplistic, materialistic aspects rather than broader conceptual concerns.
The advertising context of in maculate is probably important: the frequent but not in cessant dropping of functors like in as part of the telegraphic style of ads could help people write immaculate condition to mean “in immaculate condition”, while their readers could easily think it was a slight error for “in maculate condition”.
I don’t see this kind of motivation for in material . (Which of course doesn’t mean the restructuring can’t be happening.)
Also, especially in cases like “in-material” you are likely to be dealing with an “underlying form” spelling of the prefix: i.e. the negative prefix “in-” is spelt in the form it assumes in neutral contexts (esp. prevocalic ones, e.g. inaccurate, inimitable , etc.), and the assimilation to the following (labial) consonant is treated as a pronunciation variant rather than an orthographic one. (Again, this possibility does not mean nobody is restructuring — it just makes it a little less likely and a lot harder to prove.)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
Wow. Since the emasculated item in David Bird’s 8-2-11 post is probably actually a fiberglass-hulled Hobie, I’d say you’ve got someone there with real spelling challenges.
On the other hand, depending on the style of the kitchen remodel, along with the larger laundry room maybe the house HAS been emasculated a bit…
fp, by the evidence of “fibber”, a long o in “Hobbie” is probably understood. Not so for others, who see the Hobie Catamaran as merely a hobby boat, not a serious sailboat. Or worse, something akin to a hobby horse.