Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Well dang if it ain’t been forever since I’ve been around here.
Problem is that eggcorns have become too scarce on the ground, I don’t find them anymore.
I’m thinking they may have been fished to the brink of extinction.
Anyway, this one first spotted here:
You can find more googling on “case of mistake in identity” but you have to wade through tons of links to a song lyric.
I THINK this qualifies… while it means the same thing essentially, I think there is a very slight shift in imagery here. “Mistaken identity” seems to place the cause in the person making the mistake, whereas “mistake in identity” seems to put the focus somewhere slightly different. I can’t express it better than that.
Hey, it’s my first in what, three years or something? I can;t be too choosy. :)
Good to see you again, Craig. This kind of “mistake in” parsing a phrase has come up repeatedly, usually involving extraction or concretion of small particles from larger words. They’re consistent with the original sense of the phrase but just slightly remodelled. They must arise by the same mechanism that produces eggcorns and mondegreens so that they’re clearly fodder for this forum. This particular one, ‘mistake in’ for ‘mistaken’, might even be emblematic. The syntactic analysis has gone just slightly wonky, however. I think it’s an eggcorn. The modification is not so much in metaphor as in syntax, which is a kind of imagery I guess.