Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
This exalt/exult confusion has only been mentioned once in passing on Eggcorn Forum, in a huge list of possible eggcorns etc. posted by Jorkel several years ago.
I’m pleased to be able to present an example, captured in the wild. From the liner notes on a record album: “Where previously Savoy Brown had exalted in the loneliness of a ‘Train to Nowhere’, this time…”.
Just a mishearing/misspelling? Perhaps. The switch from intransitive to transitive would support that contention. The Latin roots (exalt from a word for “high”; exult from a word for “jump”) are different, yet their meanings in English are close enough to argue for an eggcornish meaning-connection (in spite of the switch from intransitive to transitive?). Can anyone think of examples of accepted eggcorns which make the intransitive/transitive switch or vice-versa?
Googling “exalt in” yields about 770 unique hits, of which probably somewhere between 150 and 200 are the eggcornish use. In my calculations, I omitted questionable uses such as the seemingly marginal religious quotes at the end of this list of examples:
“Torres the target as Liverpool fans exalt in Chelsea win.”
“With Mother’s Day just around the corner, women around the world are getting ready to celebrate and exalt in their ability to give birth and raise children.”
“Golf fans should exalt in Presidents Cup”
“They want the Jews dead and they exalt in their wild screams of blood lust.”
“While we may chuckle at Scrooge as he puffs and blows about spending money or the ‘surplus population’ we exalt in him as he sees the light…”
”...grown up people are not strong enough to exalt in monotony…”
“With veins afire I exalt in the letting of blood”
“Exalt in being the complicated woman you are.”
“President, others, exalt in GM’s IPO” (Headline from UPI.com, the slogan of which boasts of “OVER 100 YEARS OF JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE”, LOL!)
“And the freedom to fully exalt in the expression of your own creation cannot be measured by monetary means or the mansion you do not live in…”
”...Obama and his aides tend not to boast about their media strategy or publicly exalt in how they are confronting or marginalizing the traditional news media.”
“When will we cease to exalt in the death of our enemies…”
“ASU players exalt in redemptive win vs. rival Arizona…”
(The following examples so perfectly match the proper meaning of “exalt” that they may well be just mistaken “intransitivizations” of a verb that’s supposed to be transitive, rather than eggcorns.)
“And so I exalt in the grace of God.”
“And you, O Pure One, O Mother of God Exalt in the resurrection of your Son.”
“First, our hearts should exalt in who God is.”
”... that we might exalt in thee together with the faithful happily in the future, through Christ our Lord.”
“What an encouragement and beautiful reminder of what God through Christ has done on our behalf, and how we should exalt in Him and Him alone.”
So, what say you, folks? Eggcorn, or no?
I’ve seen exult>><<exalt confusion literally dozens of times over the years in edited sources, and it’s often struck me that it turns up in articles in scholarly journals with about the same frequency with which it appears in fantasy novels.
This is a pretty familiar pair; I think it hasn’t been written up before exactly because it’s so difficult to say where confusion ends and eggcornicity begins with this one. The variation of a single vowel would guarantee confusion even if they didn’t have any semantic overlap. Given that they often have similar contexts, as you say, they’re forever stuck with each other. The reshapings are so widespread that some people have to be justifying it to themselves. But for the most part, I’d say that this one probably sits right on top of the flounder/eggcorn boundary.
I’m drawing a blank on examples for the in-/transitve question. But I’m positive that we’ve talked about such things before. I’d go searching for “transitive” and its sibling on our site, but the 8-inch-high pile of student papers to my left is already starting to growl at me.
When typing the beginning of the last paragraph, I accidentally wrote “drawing a bland” twice in a row. Interesting—d and k are both middle-finger letters. That’s probably a sign I’ll have Old Timer’s Disease within 15 years. But I won’t be alone—there are dozens of unique hits for “drawing a bland.”
Last edited by patschwieterman (2011-05-17 14:33:41)