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#1 2011-12-31 14:41:26

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1537

Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Put down those noisemakers and refresh the egg knock, the time is come to choose the best eggcorns of 2011. Kem and I have put together a list of the year’s crop of eggcorns, slips, reshapings, innovations, reanalyses, squashes, blends, silicisms, fuzzy spots, and just plum inexplicable language mutation events, submitted here for our mutual delectation, consternation and mystification. This year we have 632 entries to choose from, down slightly from 880 in 2010 and 800 in 2009. You should try to winnow your faves down to the 10 best, or 20 if you really cannot decide. No judging qualifications necessary.

JuanTwoThree’s recent thread entitled Somebody else got there first is one of the signs that we’re finally approaching the omegacorn. As if. The human ability to retool unfamiliar words, with striking logic, into new imagery, is and will surely remain a source of constant wonder, and has few sensible limits. So enjoy these licks from the English tongue. Feel free to add your own quirky categories for special cute-os.
The list is split into three bite-size pieces, in alphabetical order. The format is “eggcorn << acorn | finder”. Clicking on the link will allow you read the accompanying evidence and weigh the supporting arguments, if any such could be found.
This first post has 2011’s Eggcorn candidates from A to E:
A day << heyday | David B
about of << amount of | Dixon
abrade << upbraid | David B
abs sailing << abseiling | David B
absailing << abseiling | David B
absent << absinthe | Juan
aerogant << arrogant | David B
aftermess << aftermath | David T
afterwords << afterwards | Rutger
airogant << arrogant | David B
all sorts/kinds so << all sorts/kinds of | David T
alumini << alumni | David B
amend of her own << a mind of her own | CatherineR
android << aneroid | ampersand
anecdatal/anecdata << anecdotal/anecdote | Kem
animometer << anemometer | David B
anna bollock steroids << anabolic steriods | David B
antipasta << antipasto | antimatters
antipesto << antipasto | David B
appendicides << appendicitis | David B
arabbiata << arrabbiata | David B
arboreal << boreal | David B
areola << aurora | .NetRolller 3D
arrest control << wrest control | Joe
as burgers syndrome << Asperger’s Syndrome | Juan
ashfault << asphalt | dmargulis
asparagus syndrome << Asperger’s Syndrome | Dixon
aspearagrass << asparagus | Kem
aspearagus << asparagus | Kem
assordid << assorted | David B
assorted past << sordid past | Pat/fpberger
asundery << sundry | David B
at any road << at any rate | Kem
at the cold face << coal-face | David B
aura << aurora | Kem
aurora << aura | Kem
Aviation flu << avian flu | David B
bacharole/olle << barcarole/olle | Kem
backwards computability << compatibility | Ben
bags the question << begs the question | David B
bake the question << beg the question | Stephanie Mitchell
balsam << balsa | Kem
bandshee << banshee | Kem
barbarygmus << borborygmus | David B
bathtism << baptism | Corny
batting down the hatches << batten down the hatches | Kem
battle down the hatches << batten down the hatches | Eoin
be holding << beholden | Dixon
beadline << beeline | David B
beak and call << beck and call | Juan
beautifle << beautiful | Pat
beetle nut << betel nut | .NetRolller 3D
behave << behoove | Kem
behoof << behoove | David B
bellaclava << balaclava | David B
belly chopper << puddlehopper | David T
below and hold << lo and behold | David T
bestole << bestow | Kem
bestore << bestow | Kem
beyond pale << beyond the pale | instarx
bidden path << beaten path | David B
bigger << bicker | David B
bike-cycle << bicycle | JuanTwoThree
billy ruben << bilirubin | David B
Billy Reuben << bilirubin | David T
bitten path << beaten path | David B
bitter << bicker | David B
bleed off << wean off | David B
bloody merry << bloody Mary | David B
bloody scissor << bloody Caesar | David B
boche << bosch | JuanTwoThree
bogs the mind << boggles | David B
boiler play << boiler plate | adurdin
bomby << balmy | David B
boost << booth | David B
borough << burrow | David B
bosch << boche | JuanTwoThree
bottle << bottom | Kem
bowelderize << bowdlerize | David B
brahmen << brahmans | David B
brain of thought << train of thought | David B
breakial artery << brachial artery | David B
brood force << brute force | David B
brute << brood | David B
buckle swab << buccal swab | Michael Gilleland
bull-rink << bullring | Alan Tait
burrow << borough | David B
but into << butt into | Kem
butt out (hidden eggcorn) | Kem
buttery (hidden) | Kem
buy or leave << by your leave | David T
bye or leave << by your leave | David T
Cache-22 << Catch-22 | Fuchsia ‘tude
callousthenics << calisthenics | David B
carrion bags << carry on bags | David B
carrion counters << Corian counters | David B
catamount << paramount << tantamount | fpberger
catamount << tantamount | Pat
ceased up engine << seized | David T
char suey << char siu | David B
Charles D. Gaulle << Charles de Gaulle | Kem
Charles the Gaulle << Charles de Gaulle | JuanTwoThree
chawowow << chihuahua | David B
cheapmunks << chipmunks | David B
cheekmonks/cheekmunks << chipmunks | David B
cherry can << jerry can | David B
chew-wawa << chihuahau | Juan
Chicken Guinea << chikungunya | David B
chop soy << chop suey | Kem
cinchpin << linchpin | David B
clam shoulder << clam chowder | Juan
clam shower << clam chowder | David B
clinchpin << linchpin | David B
clogmire << quagmire | David B
clothes doors << closed doors | CatherineR
clothes whore << clothes horse | David B
coal sore << cold sore | David B
cold shower << cold shoulder | Joe
cold soldier << cold shoulder | David B
coleslaw << cold sore | Juan
collage << college | Detroit
collar reef << coral reef | David B
color reef << coral reef | David B
colories << calories | Kem
colorine bleach << chlorine bleach | Juan
colorophyll << chlorophyll | David B
come to grits with << come to grips with | David B
compleasant << complacent | David B
condom << condone | Kem
consoler << counselor | Dixon
Conventional Franciscans << Conventual Franciscans | Kem
cool de sac << cul-de-sac | Joe
copied and paced << copied and pasted | Detroit
coughin’ nail << coffin nail | Dixon
coulda sac << cul-de-sac | Joe
court someones << court summons | David B
craft << graft | .NetRolller 3D
crooks and crannies << nooks and crannies | langserve
crooks and grannies << nooks and crannies | David B
cue-tip << Q-tip | David B
cul-de-shack << cul-de-sac | .NetRolller 3D
cupspidor << cuspidor | David B
curl-de-sac << cul-de-sac | Peter
curly sac << cul-de-sac | Peter
cuspitor << cuspidor | David B
cycle cell anemia << sickle cell anemia | Dixon
dairy rear << derriere | David B
Datsun << dachshund | Pat
daynewmont << denouement | Pat
dead head << dead heat | Pat
dead heap << dead heat | Pat
debt heat << dead heat | Pat
death cup << death cap | Joe
decimal << decibel | buzhwa
defer costs << defray costs | fpberger
defind << define | Kem
deflock << defrock | David B
defray payments << defer payments | fpberger
defuse << diffuse | fpberger/ajlyon
denewment << denouement | Pat
denewmont << denouement | Pat
denowment << denouement | David B
denudement << denouement | David B
deteriorate << deter | Kem and David T
detourent << deterrent | Chandra
detourrrent << deterrent | Chandra
devil’s millions << devil’s minions | David B
diarrhesis << dieresis | David B
diddo << ditto | Kem
die-a-rear << diarrhea | David B
dierriere << diarrhea | David B
diluted << deluded | David B
disburst << disperse | David B
disingenuine << disingenuous | Neal Whitman, Garson O’Toole
disingenious << disingenuous | Kem
displacea << displaysia | David B
dispurts << disperse | David B
dispurts << disputes | David B
diurrhesis << diuresis | David B
doc(tor) the pay << dock the pay | Kem
dogshund << dachshund | David B
dolmen << dolmens | David B
Doppler sound system << Dolby sound system | David B
downride << downright | David B
downwrite << downright | David B
dragomen << dragomans | David B
drain of thought << train of thought | David B
dresser (hidden) | Kem
dropping centre << drop-in centre | Kem
dublin surround sound << Dolby surround sound | David B
duck the pay << dock the pay | Kem
duke << juke | David B
dull-set << dulcet | Peter
dumbfoolery << tomfoolery | David B
dying rear << diarrhea | David B
early adapter << adopter | Kem
Eden << Eton | mikewest
edgitation << agitation | David B
elderlyflower << elderflower | alanmdouglas
eligible << legible | Kem
Ellen The Generous << Ellen DeGeneres | JuanTwoThree
Emily format << MLA format | lklopfer
epileptic scissor << epileptic seizure | David B
errorgant << arrogant | Kem
Evian flu << avian flu | Juan
exalt << exult | Dixon
excruciating/excruciate ligament << cruciate ligament | xxxs
exited and entranced << excited and entranced | David B
expeedite << expedite | Kem
extenduating << extenuating | Kem
extracircular << extracurricular | Dixon

Last edited by David Bird (2012-01-01 02:04:01)



#2 2011-12-31 14:43:54

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1537

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

2011 eggcorns F to P

f-feminate << effeminate | David B
fail short << fell short | CatherineR
faker << fakir | Kem
Falls << Foz do Iguaçu | David B
fallty << faulty | Kem
faux paux << faux pas | JuanTwoThree
feed day << field day | Juan
feelers << fillers | David B
feetle position << fetal position | David B
feverent << blend of fervent and fevered | David B
filler gauge << feeler gauge | Peter
finally << finale | burred
financé/e << fiancé/e | David B
finecky/fineicky << finicky | Kem
flash in the pant/pants << flash in the pan | David B
flash in the plan << flash in the pan | Peter
flatjack << flapjack | Kem
Flower Time << Valentine | wordrow
follow soot << follow suit | JuanTwoThree
foraminal valley << foramen ovale | David B
forciferous << vociferous | George W Bush
forest air << forced air | David B
fossil of Alice << fossa ovalis | David B
foul plague << fowl plague | David B
freakles << freckles | David B
full-course meal << four course | David T
galley-west << Collywest(on) | Kem
garlic shrug << Gallic shrug | David B
gentle herpes << genital herpes | Juan
gesture << venture | Dixon
gift << gif | Kem
glamour << glimmer | David B
glimpse in the eye << gleam in the eye | David B
glooming << looming | Pat
glower << glow (hidden) | David T
goal digger << gold digger | David B
going into ruptures << going into raptures | David B
gold shoulder << cold shoulder | David B
gonuts << gonads | Juan
good, bad or different << good, bad or indifferent | burred
goof bumps << goose bumps | Juan
goof step << goose step | Juan
grabble << grapple + grab | Kem
grapple << grasp | Kem
growing area << groin | David B
gunholes << gunnels | David B
half assered << haphazard | David B
halfaxed << halfassed | David B
handfle << handful | David B
handle full << handful | Dadge
hang bag << handbag | MartyArtie
hard to famine << hard to fathom | David T
hard to phantom << hard to fathom | Pat
hardbeat << heartbeat | Richard Carroll
hardbreak << heartbeat | Richard Carroll
hatch this out << hash this out | David B
havarice << avarice | David B
have way << half way | evilray
have full << half-full | Kem
heart decease << disease | David B
hearth rob << heart throb | JuanTwoThree
hearth throb << heart throb | JuanTwoThree
heat frustration << heat prostration | David B
heavenside layer << Heaviside layer | Kem
hedgemen << henchmen | David B
hegitation << hesitation | Kem
hell bound << hell bent | Dixon
helpfle << helpful | Pat
helpmeat << helpmeet | David B
hematocheesia << hematochezia | David B
hengemen << henchmen | David B
Herbie’s << herpes | David B
heroine << harrowing | David B
high per << hyper | Juan
high pretension << hypertension | Richard Lederer
hip displeasure << displaysia | Johnny L.A.
hips displays << displaysia | David B
Hobby Cat << Hobie Cat | David B
hostel << hostile | TootsNYC
humen << humans | Kem
hunchmen << henchmen | David B
hurdles << hurtles | Dixon
hydrocoloric acid << hydrochloric acid | Juan
Iditaroad << Iditarod | Kem
idle hernia << hiatal | David B
Idyll << idle | Kem
Idyll << ideal | Kem
ill- << il- (e.g., ill licit) | David B
illumini << alumni | Peter
impune << impugn | Mark Liberman
in the sticks << in the stinks | David B
inclimbed plane << inclined plane | Joe
insight << inside | dkeffer
instance << incident | Dixon
insulent << insolent + insult | Kem
insultent << insolent + insult | David T
invade << inveighed | Kem
inweighed << inveighed | David B
inzombnia << insomnia | David B
jailwalking << jaywalking | Pat
jewel << Joule | David B
joint at the hip << joined at the hip | bronsoja
Jubilee year (old eggcorn) | Joel Hoffman/Kem
just ‘cause << just cause | David T
jute << juke | David B
keen off << wean off | David B
kill a watt << kilowatt | Detroit
King John II << Kim Jong-il | NetRolller 3D
L-cove << alcove | David B
last task << last gasp | Pat
last gas << last gasp | Pat
last guess << last gasp | Pat
last ghast << last gasp | Pat
latetency << latency | Kem
lean off << wean off | David B
leanient << lenient | Kem
lemming’s terms << layman’s terms | David B
lemon’s terms << layman’s terms | David B
line’s share << lion’s share | Ken
lip-sank << lip sang | David T
lo and belo << lo and behold | Juan
lo and behind << lo and behold | Juan
loathed to << loath to | JuanTwoThree
loch neck monster << Loch Ness monster | David B
lock neck monster << Loch Ness monster | David B
locked nest monster << Loch Ness monster | David B
log nest monster << Loch Ness monster | David B
lone behold << lo and behold | David T
lonely child << only child | Joe
long and behold << lo and behold | David T
lop-sized << lop-sided | GrantBarrett
lost nest monster << Loch Ness monster | Juan
lost-lost << long-lost | Pat
lour/lower << lower | Kem
low and be whole << lo and behold | David B
low and below << lo and behold | Juan
low grain headache << migraine | David B
low and behold << lo and behold | David T
low and behind << lo and behold | David T
lumpoma << lipoma | Fulci
marinate on << meditate on | Brians
martrial << martial | .NetRolller 3D
Mary-go-round << merry-go-round | Kem
Mary Anne Toinette << Marie Antoinette | David B
maskot << mascot | Kem
mass of headache << massive headache | David B
mean off << wean off | David B
meat-eaterites << meteorites | Joe
medal detector << metal | Juan
media horse << media whore | Juan
mentitation << meditation | David B
mettle << fettle | David B
milk out of << bilk out of | Joe
mind boogying << mind boggling | David B
mind-grade headache << migraine | David B
mind as well << might as well | vole
mindgobbling << boggling | David T
minds well << might as well | vole
miracle << mickle | David B
moorish << moreish | Juan
mountain over a mole hill << mountain of a molehill | JuanTwoThree
mud duck << geoduck | Pat
muffed << miffed | Kem
Musulmen << Musulman | David B
naggling << nagging | Kem
naggling << niggling | Ken
new bee << newbie | Rubrick
newmonic << mnemonic | Pat
newmonia << pneumonia | David B
New Westminutester << New Westminister | David B
Newest Minster << New Westminister | David B
news speak/newssspeak << newspeak | Joe
nip picking << nitpicking | Peter
noisy parker << nosey parker | Kem
nosy porker << nosey parker | David B
not by a long shock << not by a long chalk/shot | David B
now and days << nowadays | Detroit
nymph << lymph | Richard Lederer
obliviate << obviate | Kem
off sure account << offshore | Juan
off pudding << off putting | David T
once beaten, twice shy << once bitten, twice shy | David B
oppose it << opposite it | David B
orbituary << obituary | Kem
otiose << odious | Kem
Ottomen << Ottoman | David B
overcalm << overcome | David B
owners << onus | Juan
oxytoxin << oxytocin | David B
paddle << petal | David B
paddle stool << pedestal | David B
Palacestine << Palatine | David B
Palacetine, Palacestine << Palestine | David B
pankick attack << panic attack | David T
patsy << Ponzi | David B/David T
patty stool << pedestal | David B
paving the wave << paving the way | Kem
paw << pore | David B
pawnsy << Ponzi | David B
peace and mind << peace of mind | creacher
peck and call << beck and call | David B
pecking call << beck and call | David B
peeness << penis | Juan
pet-a-stool << pedestal | David B
petting stool << pedestal | David B
petty stool << pedestal | David B
petty << pity | Dixon
phylactrophy << phylactery | Kem
pidgin hold << pigeon hole | David B
pigeon hold << pigeon hole | David B
pillar << pillor | Kem
pinchbeak << Pinchbeck | Kem
pissary << pessary | David B
planoply << panoply | Dixon
play out << pay out | Kem
please << pleas | Kem
pleased as punched << pleased as punch | David B
plontoon << pontoon | David T
plump out << plumb out | Dixon
point blank rage << point blank range | Ken
popery << potpourri | David B
popitations << palpitations | David B
poptosis << proptosis | David B
poptosis << ptosis | David B
poptosis << apoptosis | David B
populations << palpitations | Richard Lederer
post humus << posthumous | David B
posthumanly << posthumously | David B
pot on << spot on | Juan
poultry << paltry | DavidB
powder cake << keg | David B
power keg << powder keg | Kem
pratfall << pitfall | Dixon
professioncy << proficiency | Mark Liberman/Kem
proof is in the putting << proof is in the pudding | Theodore
proper gander << propaganda | fpberger
Protonsil << Prontosil | Ken
pull the wall over << pull the wool over | Kem
pull the will over << pull the wool over | David B
pull the wood over one’s eyes << pull the wool over | Pat
pull the world over << pull the wool over | David B
Pullmen << Pullmans | Kem
pupkin pie << pumpkin | Kem
pyrite victory << Pyrrhic victory | David B



#3 2011-12-31 14:46:05

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1537

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Best of the year candidates Q-Z

q-stick << cue stick | David T
queue de sac << cul-de-sac | David B
quick (hidden eggcorn) | Kem
quit pro quo << quid pro quo | Kem
ranting and waving << ranting and raving | David T
raw of the crowd << roar | David B
rawkish << raucous | Kem
rebuilditation << rehabilitation | David B
Rec Beach << Wreck Beach | David B
reclude << recuse | David T
recluse << recuse | David B
reflux << reflex | Kem/David T
refuse << recused | David B
regorgitate << regurgitate | Kem
renounced << renowned | bluecrab
repetoire << repertoire | David B
rescued << recused | David B
rest on your royals << rest on your laurels | David B
rest control << wrest control | Joe
rictus scale << Richter scale | Juan
river-berations << reverberations | David B
road range << road rage | Kem
roar energy << raw | David B
romen << romans | Kem
root Goldberg device << Rube Goldberg device | David B
roses of the liver << cirrhosis | Richard Lederer
round robber << round robin | David B
round robbing << round robin | Kem
round ribbon << round robin | David B
Ruby Goldberg device << Rube Goldberg device | David B
rude << rube | Kem
Rudy Goldberg device << Rube Goldberg device | David B
ruemination << rumination | David B
Ruth Goldberg device << Rube Goldberg device | Juan
rye sense of humour << wry sense of humour | Dixon
rye neck << wry neck | Kem
sad sap << sad sack | MJinVA
saddle up << sidle up | Dixon
saddo-masochist << sado-masochist | Juan
said in stone << set in stone | David B
sakae << sockeye | Kem
sakai salmon << sockeye salmon | Pat
Sandsgrit << Sanskrit | David B
satyr/satyrical << satire/satirical | Kem
sawyer sauce << soya | David B
scissarian << caesarean | David B
scissoring << caesarian | David B
screensafer << screensaver | Kem
screwtinize << scrutinize | Kem
seamen << semen | Kem, David B
seamistress << seamstress | David B
seamsdress << seamstress | David B
second sense << sixth sense | Kem
second heaven << seventh heaven | JuanTwoThree
see and eye dog << seeing eye dog | bluecrab
seek fit to << see fit to | David T
seman << one ‘semen’ | Kem
sensor << censor | Kem
seventh sense << sixth sense | David T
sewmistress/sewmstress << seamstress | David B
shed << shred | Kem
short refuse << short fuse | David B
shred << shed (fur, for example) | Kem
sick cell anemia << sickle cell anemia | fpberger
sickacell anemia << sickle cell anemia | fpberger
sicko cell anemia << sickle cell anemia | David B
silly act disease << celiac disease | David B
sink << sync | Dixon
skwormish << squirmish | David B
slick one’s thirst << slake one’s thirst | David B
slump << slum
slurry << sully | Juan
smoors << smores | David B
sojourning on << soldiering on | David B
soldier arms << shoulder | Juan
soldierner << sojourner | David B
sorrid << horrid+sordid+sorry | burred
sorrily << sorely | keri321
spatial theory of relativity << special theory of relativity | David B
spill, spell << spiel | David B
spiton << spitoon | Kem
stand-up lamp << standard lamp | JuanTwoThree
steak tart tart << steak tartar | David B
steer << stare | David B
stickmatize << stigmatize | David B
stirring << sterling | Kem
storeaway << stowaway | Pat
streamlining << streaming online | David T
stuff infection << staph infection | David B
subluminal << subliminal | David B
suey << soy | Joe
suits to a tea << suits to a T | David B
swap << swab | Kem
sweetest fish << Swedish fish | Pat
sworded past << sordid past | David B
talismen << talismans | David B
tampon << tamp on | Kem
tear ducks << tear ducts | Pat
tenement << tantamount | David B
tent amount << tantamount | Juan
theft store << thrift store | larrybob
thrashed hard drive << trashed hard drive | Kem
thrice << trice | Kem
throw damp water on << damper+dampen+cold water | David B
tidyings << tidings | JuanTwoThree
tie rant << tirade | David B
tie raid << tirade | David B
tithings << tidings | David B
to and throw << to and fro | David T
toils << tolls | .NetRolller 3D
tombfoolery << tomfoolery | Peter
tomfolly << tomfoolery | David B
toot << tout | David B
toothsome << toothy, tasty | Kem
trace of thought << train of thought | Peter
tractless << trackless | fpberger
trade of thought << train of thought | David B
trail of thought << train of thought | Peter
trait of thought << train of thought | Peter
trancefixed << transfixed | Peter
tranceindental << transcendental | David B
tray of thought << train of thought | David B
tread of thought << train of thought | David B
trench << tranche | David B
triple-down economics << trickle-down economics | larrybob
truth between << truce between | Kem
tug << tuck | czearfoss
turning pike << turning point | Dixon
twelve vote battery << twelve volt battery | Juan
twelve bolt battery << twelve volt battery | Kem
two and throw << to and fro | Juan
type-o << typo | bluecrab
under the rudder << under the radar | Kem
unreasonable << unseasonable | David B
unrequieted love << unrequited love | David B
up sailing << abseiling | David B
upsettled << upset + unsettled | David B
uttered nonsense << utter nonsense | Jorkel
vegtable << vegetable | Kem
vend your << venture | David B
vent your << venture | Joe
verdigrease << verdigris | David B
virginia << vagina | Richard Lederer
volt of lightning << bolt of lightning | David B
wane off << wean off | David B
watershed << drainage basin+divide+shed | Kem
Wayne Scott << wainscot | David B
weak off << wean off | David B
weed off << wean off | David B
wend off << wean off | Kem
Westminceter << Westminister | David B
wetted << wedded | archcow
where or where << where oh where | Dixon
whet your whistle << wet your whistle | Dixon
while goose chase << wild goose chase | Kem
whine off << wean off | Pat
whinny off << wean off | David B
White goose chase << wild goose chase | Pat
whittle room << wiggle room | Pat
whored << horrid | David B
wien off << wean off | David B
wild goof chase << wild goose chase | Paolo
will-being << well-being | RonButters
William the Concurrer << William the Conqueror | JuanTwoThree
wind off << wean off | David B
wine off << wean off | Pat
wondering eye << wandering eye | JuanTwoThree
working progress << work in progress | el tomboto
wreak control << wrest control | .NetRolller 3D
wreck room/centre << rec room/centrre | Dixon
wrecked my brain << racked | vexact
wriggle room/wriggle out of << wiggle room/wiggle out of | Kem
wrist control << wrest control | Juan
wrong nerve << raw nerve | Joe
you’ll log << yule log | JuanTwoThree
youturn << U-turn | David B
zoostera << zostera | Kem



#4 2011-12-31 17:47:47

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1537

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

We have a warm spot on this forum, there by the hearth, for those words that seem to exist tangled together in big fuzzy heaps. One word is so like another, in those woolly, looped networks, gone up the chimney and out of all sound now except the distant speaking of the voices one sometimes hears whispering from the keyboard a moment before clicking on send, so that one can never distinguish all the convoluted and imbricated significations as they roll together down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky above the memory banks. You plunge in your hand and bring out whatever you can find. The vague outlines of the following fuzzy spots were sketched in this year.

Niggle, naggle, nag, nibble, nettle, snag, snaggle, raggle-taggle
rapporteurs Ken Lakritz, Kem, Peter

idol, idyll, ideal, idle
rapporteur Kem

haphearted, haphanded, havehearted, headharded, headhearted, backheaded, handhearted, hearthearted (X2), fisthearted, hamhearted, halfhanded, halfheaded
rapporteur Pat

grasp, grab, grapple, grabble, grip
rappeur Kem

quash, squash, squish, quelch, squelch, quell, quench
rappeur Kem

slum, slump, sump, hump, rump, dumb/dump, bum, chump, plump, Forrest Gump, trump, pump Humpty-Dumpty, numpty, lumpenproletariat, frump, grump, mumps, stump, Donald Trump and Tom Thumb clumped a herd of umbles, humble, fumble, bumble, jumble, crumble, stumble and mumble
rapporteurs Kem, Peter, Pat



#5 2011-12-31 17:57:42

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Um, David—Dylan Thomas’s lawyer just called, and he’d like a word with you….

Thanks to you and Kem for the amazing amount of work these lists represent. And the fuzzy-spot roundup is a great idea.



#6 2011-12-31 20:58:31

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2578

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Because I helped David with the indexing, I got a chance to sift through the candidates before they were posted. I’ve been picking through my favs for the last two weeks. I’ll post them in a bit.

It was fun to look back over some of our discussions. One of the more interesting ones was the exchange about Googlenonces. Joe’s comment at the end about “an ounce of nonce is worth a pound of expound” was priceless. We also had two extended discussions on the idiomatic context of eggcorns, here and here. David B tried to organize chaos itself in one of his posts – the jury is still out about whether the decline in the entropy of the universe was measurable. We may have found something new to English linguistics in our discussions about h-conflations. David B and Pat did a talk on eggcorns at a conference and our discussion of the talk opened the door to some new thinking about malaprops vs eggcorns. And could we fail to acknowledge Pat’s wonderful post on the last day of the year? At 2500 words, it has to be the largest post in the history of the forum. He may have to wait until 2013 for comments—some of us are slow readers.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#7 2011-12-31 23:47:19

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2578

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Sorry, David. Haven’t been able to get my best-of-the-year selections down to 20 since the 2008 round. Thirty is as low as I go these days. I have the moral fibre of a warm rubber band.

First, the SNOT award for the lowest hanging fruit. It’s a three-way tie, in my opinion, between two of my choices for year’s best, “newmonic” and “peeness,” and a not-one-of-the-best candidate, “please” for “pleas:”

newmonic << mnemonic
peeness << penis
please << pleas

In narrowing the list of candidates I invoked two of criteria more than others. One criterion was that the candidate acorn and eggcorn had to be phonologically close. It’s the near miss aspect, the close-but-no-cigarness, that ramps up the revelation on good eggcorns. I used an imagination game as another canon. I pretended that I was relating the eggcorn a group of literate, pun/fun-loving friends over a dessert that followed a great meal. I thought about how much they might laugh or applaud at the eggcorn candidate (An easy scenario to visualize, since In the first few months of 2011 I actually did carry around a card with the best of 2010, inflicting them on various groups.).

Several of the best eggcorns this year are “of course” eggcorns. They are so well-turned that any lexicographer worth his/her salt would, I believe, agree that the eggcorn deserves to boot out the acorn. They are:

arboreal << boreal
clogmire << quagmire
dumbfoolery << tomfoolery
excruciating/excruciate ligament << cruciate ligament
extenduating << extenuating
gonuts << gonads
once beaten, twice shy << once bitten, twice shy
refuse << recuse
spatial theory of relativity << special theory of relativity

A number of other eggcorns, while not such obvious replacements of their acorns, manage to improve the acorns in rather clever ways. I am thinking of eggcorns like:

airogant << arrogant
absent << absinthe
bandshee << banshee
displacea << displaysia
edgitation << agitation
hegitation << hesitation
professioncy << proficiency
seamsdress << seamstress
trancefixed << transfixed

Then there are the double yolk eggcorns, the ones that cram a couple of substitute semantic units into the word being replaced:

aspearagrass << asparagus
chewowow << chihuahua
diddo << ditto
die-a-rear << diarrhea
inweighed << inveighed
mind-grade headache << migraine headache

A few “just plain funny” eggcorns:

goof step << goose step
heart decease << heart disease
posthumanly << posthumously
said in stone << set in stone
wrist control << wrest control

Finally, some “huh” eggcorns – ones that I would probably use (and probably have used) without even realizing that there was a lost acorn:

latetency << latency
naggling << niggling
play out << pay out

Last edited by kem (2012-01-02 00:52:21)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#8 2012-01-01 19:26:48

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1537

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

I’m delighted to see that Kem’s list has little in common with mine. I couldn’t in good conscience pair down my list past 40 winners. My criteria included the usual: that the eggcorn sound sufficiently like the acorn that it pass freely in the world, but be at the same time subversive and speak about the perpetrator’s altered perspective. Like absent for absinthe. That it be sweetly naïve. Like gentle herpes. It helps if the altered imagery is easy and natural, like hang bag for handbag. I haven’t distinguished among Lehman’s terms (Billy Reuben), Aunty Lehmen (bloody merry), squashes (oddly, there aren’t any in my list this year) or Grade A eggcorns. Four of my picks have the double distinction of twin yolks. Thirteen different forum members contributed to my list. Ok, admittedly, some picks got on my list because they were just out there. Like Juan’s coleslaw for cold sore. Or dear dairy rear (you may notice that I tend to like the corporeal, body function ones). I’ve considered all finalists on my list carefully and I could happily accept any of them as best of the year.

absent << absinthe | Juan
aspearagus << asparagus | Kem
bake the question << beg the question | Stephanie Mitchell
Billy Reuben << bilirubin | David T
bloody merry << bloody Mary | David B
bloody scissor << bloody Caesar | David B
cherry can << jerry can | David B
clam shoulder << clam chowder | Juan
coleslaw << cold sore | Juan
dairy rear << derriere | David B
dead heap << dead heat | Pat
deflock << defrock | David B
dying rear << diarrhea | David B
flatjack << flapjack | Kem
gentle herpes << genital herpes | Juan
gonuts << gonads | Juan
hang bag << handbag | MartyArtie
Herbie’s << herpes | David B
illumini << alumni | Peter
jailwalking << jaywalking | Pat
last gas << last gasp | Pat
lost nest monster << Loch Ness monster | Juan
mass of headache << massive headache | David B
off sure account << offshore | Juan
off pudding << off putting | David T
pawnsy << Ponzi | David B
petting stool << pedestal | David B
popitations << palpitations | David B
pull the world over << pull the wool over | David B
scissarian << caesarean | David B
screwtinize << scrutinize | Kem
sick cell anemia << sickle cell anemia | fpberger
tidyings << tidings | JuanTwoThree
trancefixed << transfixed | Peter
uttered nonsense << utter nonsense | Jorkel
volt of lightning << bolt of lightning | David B
wild goof chase << wild goose chase | Paolo
wreck room/centre << rec room/centrre | Dixon
wrecked my brain << racked | vexact
wrong nerve << raw nerve | Joe

Thanks to everyone and all the best in the New Year!



#9 2012-01-01 22:34:59

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1097

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Our own load has increased pretty dramatically recently, even as Chris has been working to put new protections in place. 6 months ago, I banned and deleted a few a month. A couple of weeks ago, I was deleting about one a day. Now I’m deleting 3-4 a day, sometimes more. The mathematical implications are worrying… … hp?id=3194

Those prophetic words about spammy desecration of the Forum were written on 23 September, 2008. Think about them as you look over the following figure, which shows the history of monthly new inscriptions, and on the debit side, monthly banishments to those who made it through the various hoops that had been set up to keep them out. The period covered is from the inauguration of the Forum until the end of 2011.

The little blip of banishments in the later part of 2008 was dwarfed by the spam barrage of late 2010 – early 2011, especially in contrast to the number of legit new members. And as I recall, the new and more worrying development of 2010-11 was the depredations of hackers and miners, whose activities led to temporary closure of all Eggcornish Meeting Places, leaving various forum regulars gasping for eggcornical oxygen. The inevitable upshot was severe restriction on new inscriptions that has meant that no new members have joined since early March. I have tried in a small way to bring new blood to the forum by scanning for alternative eggcorn nesting sites from time to time. This patrol led to reporting of one of the year’s best, you’ve sent me on a wild goof trek, from a BBC radio site, for example.

Here’s a similar graph, based on the same membership data. This one shows cumulative membership, and banishments, over time. There was one casting out into outer darkness in 2007 – the first. 2008 and 2009 each saw about 80 social piranhas cursed into oblivion. Then, in 2010, almost 1200 got the boot.

This message therefore heralds the unflagging defensive jiu jitsu of our site administrator, Pat, and the protective oversight of our very own Eggcorn Faery, Chris Waigl.

It is likely that this unfortunate defensive footing is partly responsible for the slight decrease in submissions this year, regrettably. The other reason is of course our deadly efficiency in spotting and bagging eggcorns over the years. Symptomatic of that success is that we’ve largely abandoned reporting of the number of hits, raw, legit, unique or otherwise, unless they reach into the heady realm of a score or more. Juan’s post on the ones that somebody else got to first would probably become the most active thread on the board if every frustrated discovery was admitted to. So perhaps every new hit deserves ever greater glory. As we approach the speed of light, further progress requires disproportionately increasing effort and is thereby rendered more heroic, as lightweight particles come to weigh as much as planets, and each of us becomes as a titan, or a eggcorn god.

Heh, sorter got carried away there for a moment. Scrupulous screwtiny of the forum’s back pages reveals that 12 pages of new threads were added to the Contributions forum in 2011. In 2010, we managed to fill 21¼ pages. 2009 saw 21¾, 2008 was 20, then people got enthusiastic. 28 pages of new topics were filled in 2007 and 31¾ in 2006. If we prorate the contributions from the bing-bang period of late 2005 during the forum’s spin up, there were 28 pp that year. These don’t take into account the other fora nor the Database contributions.



#10 2012-01-02 01:34:31

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

I’m not allowed to read anyone’s “Best of” posts till I post my own, and I can’t do that till the grading is finished, so it’s gonna be a while.

But when I saw the pretty graphs, I had to read.

It’s nice to have a statistician on the staff. We should pay you more. I was astonished by your reported number of bans in 2010—I had no clue there were so many. And Chris and I fill in the details of the ban forms a bit differently, so I can tell by looking at the ban reports that she has accounted for lots of them—I suspect that she uses an automated tool to ID some of them, while I have to actually read the posts to see who’s a cyborg.

The bright side of the shut-down of auto-registration in March is that I don’t think I’ve even looked at the ban procedure since then. But as you suggest, the down side is the loss of the input of newbies. And I’ve noted before that “passers-by” who register, make one or two posts, and then disappear into the cybermists forever have tended to make some of the finest contributions in a given year. I’ve often referred to the double-yolked “debut>>dayview” eggcorn as one of the best finds ever, and that was the work of Kohath who posted—wait for it!—exactly twice. I think it’s possible for the regulars to fall into eggcorn-hunting groupthink, and newbies shake us out of that by coming up with great finds where we’ve never looked or have stopped looking. I do hope we can restart auto-registration sometime this year. But you’ve done a good job of reminding me just how bad the spam was getting before the shutdown.

I’m less sure that we’re reaching Eggcorn Omega. It’s no longer shooting fish in a barrel—the metaphor I think Mark Liberman used back in the early days of the eggcorn hunt in 2003—but David, your own astonishing string of contributions this year has done a lot to convince me that there are plenty of great finds still out there just waiting to be bagged by a sufficiently hungry eggcornista. Part of the dip in contributions is also clearly attributable to the near-disappearance of a lot of regulars this year, including me. I still read every day, but two straight semesters of coming up with a bunch of brand-new classes sidelined me pretty effectively; I’m looking forward to rejoining the hunt in 2012. I think related issues have kept David T. an only occasional participant. And Joe, Peter, and Ken all fell silent earlier in the year. On the other hand, Peter seems to be back (yay!), TootsNYC made some appearances after an even longer absence, and Dadge—who, like Ken, predates me on the site—made some driveby postings in the summer. But it looks like I may have to apply for federal funding to get that eggcornista-retention program going. Hopefully the gold watches I sent out for Christmas (you did all get them, right?) will help keep people coming back.

It does need to be said that Kem and David B. accounted for a heck of a lot of whatever life the site still has in it. Thanks for all the hard work, guys!

Oh, about that outage that darkened the forum for a few days. Um, it was spam-related, but (Pat blushes, looks at the floor, scuffs it with a shoe) I seem to have been the main culprit; Chris never did figure out exactly how I did it, but my attempt to ban a spammer was the last electronic trace she could find before the lights went out. Boy was that embarrassing…. So I’m definitely looking forward to 2012.

Last edited by patschwieterman (2012-01-02 01:37:05)



#11 2012-01-05 10:46:38

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1003

Re: Best eggcorns of 2011 - the list

Thanks for the welcome, Pat. I hope I can contribute a little more this year, for simply applauding the valiant efforts of David B. and Kem in keeping this strange craft shipshape and in fine trim may afford some small gratification, but it’s no real help.

I’ve managed to keep my ‘best of’ down to ten, but that’s no reflection on the rest of the field; if I were to choose again tomorrow there would probably be many new entrants.

ceased up engine << seized | David T
cinchpin << linchpin | David B
dead heap << dead heat | Pat
dumbfoolery << tomfoolery | David B
forciferous << vociferous | David B
heavenside layer << Heaviside layer | Kem
inclimbed plane << inclined plane | Joe
lost nest monster << Loch Ness monster | Juan
rebuilditation << rehabilitation | David B
scissarian << caesarean | David B



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