Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The Pillars of Hercules, at the narrow gates of the Middle Earth Sea, were inscribed with ‘Nec Plus Ultra’: nothing further beyond. Move along, there’s nothing to see, from here it’s nothing but turtles all the way west. When Ulysses took his crew through the gates “to gain knowledge of the unknown”, he and his crew were sunk by a whirlwind from Purgatory for their hubris, according to Dante. Nevertheless, in the expansive decades following Columbus’ voyage, Charles V, with the audacity of someone who would accept the title of Holy Roman Emperor, had as his personal device two columns inscribed with the banner ‘Plus Ultra’. These two columns may also be the device of the dollar, its S the banner stylized.
Nec plus ultra has morphed from warning to accolade. It implies the best, the extreme, the ultimate. It appears most commonly today in other languages, particularly French, if eggcornery be the measure. Strangely, in French, it is regularly eggcorned as if it came from English, as the next plus ultra, the next big thing and then some. Legion in French, I only found a single hit in English.
EMACS /ee’maks/ /n./ [from Editing MACroS] The next plus ultra of hacker editors, a programmable text editor with an entire LISP system inside it.
Software historian, Russian
Not neck and neck, but neck plus ultra. These may be Cupertinos.
But my 90 is the neck plus ultra for now and for a while… i hope! Gee i love my m90!!
Motorbike forum, Quebec contributor
Glue has given me hallucinations infinitely more vivid than any lsd hit, its akin to opening the puzzle box (Hellraiser, for anyone born in the 90’s). Its just a shame that as an adult its somewhere between crack whore and paedo in social acceptability. Sniffing glue the day after a lsd trip is the neck plus ultra.
Stoner from France
The attraction of the phrase to French speakers may lie in the word “plus.” They use their PLOO a hundred times more often than English speakers utter PLUHS.
We reach the outer edge of our eggcorns adventures and find the border marked with an eggcorn. The irony is not lost. Like killing two beers with one stein.
Or Zwei beers with Ein stein. Probably a funny guy like most physicists.
This morning on CBC radio, that vast fount of eggcorns (the font of eggcorns has got to be cupertino), an interviewee described something as the “nay plus ultra”. Not really an eggcorn; an anglicized version. It’s hard to say how it was spelled in his mind.
The latter is described in several online dictionaries. It must be an accepted alternate version. OK, I see it now, nay is minor eggcorn of ne. A quail’s eggcorn.