Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Many of us know about , not because we are accustomed to seeing people publicly exhibited with entrapped hands and head, but because we know the English verb “pillory” (sometimes backformed to “pillor”), meaning to punish, to ridicule.
A number of us (see a few examples below) seem to be spelling “pillory” as “pillary.” Are we imaging stand-up stocks as pillars of punishment? Or are we thinking of a pillar as a place of public display? Perhaps we are invoking the public dimensions of the idiom “pillar of [strength/righteousness/society]?” Or is it, more simply, another testimony to our loss of spelling skills?
A confusion between “pillar” and “pillor” also lies behind etymological speculations about the idiom “from pillar to post.” See .
: “He did it, he was big enough to sort of admit it, he got punished for it so let him serve his time and let him get back playing, he doesn’t need pillarying for it. ”
: “If a GOP candidate had used language like this and then gloried in the victory, the Dems would be pillarying the candidate and the GOP for racism.”
:“ When the revolution comes, I hope he is pillaried in the public square.”
: “i really, really just want to pillar him”