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#1 2011-10-30 09:32:11

CatherineR
Member
Registered: 2006-08-09
Posts: 46

"fail short" for "fell short"

From a student essay: “Martin got notice [sic] on a TV show call [sic] “Star Search” where he fail short by coming in second place.” This may be an example of a person with a Southern accent spelling with his ears instead of his eyes (like the “For Sell” signs one sometimes sees around here). Also, the student is a native speaker of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is why there are no past participial endings in the sentence, and why he accepted “fail” as past tense here. That said, “fail short” as a substitution for “fell short” makes perfect sense. :-)

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#2 2011-10-30 10:08:03

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2229

Re: "fail short" for "fell short"

Good one. Many examples of this slip on the web, here and here.

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#3 2011-10-30 10:15:16

CatherineR
Member
Registered: 2006-08-09
Posts: 46

Re: "fail short" for "fell short"

kem, I’m confused. The links point to examples of “fell short,” which is the standard expression, but I don’t see the eggcorn “fail short.” What am I missing?

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#4 2011-10-30 12:08:13

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 983

Re: "fail short" for "fell short"

The Mets would prefer he fail short and instead go with the buyout.
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/01/so … -mets.html

Nice conjugation.

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#5 2011-10-30 22:09:15

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2229

Re: "fail short" for "fell short"

The links point to examples of “fell short,” which is the standard expression, but I don’t see the eggcorn “fail short.” What am I missing?

Must be a browser dependency involved. If you are using IE, try looking at the top of hits list, where it says

“Showing results for “he fell short.”
Search instead for “he fail short”

and click on the second line.

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