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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2012-06-17 16:57:23

terrycollmann
Member
Registered: 2009-11-21
Posts: 11

Lost in the midst of time

Clearly an error for “lost in the mists of time”, but a mishearing rather than an eggcorn, I think, since “lost in the mists of time” is surely pretty clear in its meaning and doesn’t require re-analysis. Here are a few examples:

“Located 140 km from the Inca capital of Cusco, Choquequirao is a jewel lost in the midst of time, surrounded by imposing snow peaks and deep valleys.” Here

“The full history of Saint Anne’s Castle’ has been lost in the midst of time.” Wikipedia

“The reason it was named ‘Guild of Magicians’ and not ‘Nottingham Magic Circle’ is now lost in the midst’s of time” Here

“For reasons, now lost in the midst of time, friends of my Mother had a key to one of the gates into the private part of Windsor Great Park.” The Daily Telegraph

and just for a change, here’s one where the phrase actually appears to be appropriate, since it;’s about an episode of the science fiction TV show Space 1999:

“The promise of a return to Earth – but the space-wandering Alphans find themselves lost in the midst of time.”

Last edited by terrycollmann (2012-06-17 17:09:34)

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#2 2012-06-17 22:52:47

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1505

Re: Lost in the midst of time

I’d call this a nice eggcorn. Something has been lost somewhere amongst all those moments of time. While obscurity of the original idiom or word is an important source of eggcorns, it is not essential. A related substitution of midst for mist was discussed as fade into the midst of.

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#3 2012-06-21 11:26:21

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 140

Re: Lost in the midst of time

Wow! “the midst’s of time” seems to be trying to combine as many errors into one word as possible.

Bruce


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#4 2012-06-22 18:28:16

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1505

Re: Lost in the midst of time

While it’s true that “midst’s” is a big fat mistake sandwich from one point of view, it is part of the perversity of eggcorns that both “in the midst’s of time” and “in the midsts of time” are credible conceptions of the idiom. That’s why they’re out there, in both senses. From the earliest beginnings of time through its midsts to the ends of the universe.

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#5 2017-04-08 14:22:38

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2074
Website

Re: Lost in the midst of time

This was a prayer written out as a facebook message:

Lord we are asking you to send her [missing girl] back home safely and keep her in your mist so no harm will come against her.. In your mighty name we pray.. Amen

I have several other examples where one is said to be in the midst of a single person rather than a group, which seem to mean “in the presence/company of, under the care/protection of”, and so on. (Of course those notions can be part of the standard in the midst of a group as well.)

We realize that we’ve been in the midst of a great person.

I am much delighted to find such a knowledgeable angler in my midst.

His whole being was craving to be in her midst.

Anytime two or three are gathered in His midst, He is there! That’s some good stuff!

would she be as envious of any woman in his midst?

The first one cited above (the prayer) may simply be a malapropism (mist<midst) based on this mistake. On the other hand it may well be eggcornishly motivated by the idea of God’s presence being like a cloud, confounding and confusing the enemies of his children, suggested by the cloud (apparently of fire on one side and darkness on the other) that separated the Israelites from the Egyptians in Ex. 14.19-20.

I think I have heard another use or two of this, but do not have them documented.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-04-08 14:24:17)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#6 2017-04-08 19:05:53

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1174

Re: Lost in the midst of time

DavidTuggy wrote:

I have several other examples where one is said to be in the midst of a single person rather than a group, which seem to mean “in the presence/company of, under the care/protection of”, and so on.

Saying that someone is in the midst of a single person suggests to me that the latter person has eaten the former one.

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#7 2017-04-08 19:09:12

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2074
Website

Re: Lost in the midst of time

Yes, me too.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#8 2017-04-12 13:44:00

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2536

Re: Lost in the midst of time

I agree, “in X midst,” where X is a singular, is a peculiar construction in English.

Apparently the analogue in classical Hebrew was more acceptable. It occurs 4 times in the Hebrew Bible. As a result of this, some modern translations of Lamentations 1:15 contain the awkward English equivalent “in my midst.” The NASB, for example, reads “The Lord has rejected all my strong men in my midst.”

I can see how the Hebrew construction might make some sense. Understanding the base to which the “my” is added (i.e., “קֶרֶב”) as something like “in the vicinity of” opens the door to modification by a singular adjective. But in English “midst” does not admit such latitude. To my ear, at least. The translations with “in my midst” are overly literal, translation-bound phrasings.

Last edited by kem (2017-04-12 13:46:29)


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#9 2017-04-12 14:40:45

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2074
Website

Re: Lost in the midst of time

“The Lord has rejected all my strong men in my midst.”

(Shudder.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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