Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The “in-“ of “indulgent” is probably an example of intensive “in-“ A common misspelling, “undulgent,” swings it toward the negating “in-.” Are these creative spellers trying to capture the hands-off, non-interfering, unrestraining approach of the indulgent? The lost – or better, never-found – radical “dulge” does feel like it ought to be associated with force and violence (“She dulged his eye out.”)
Examples of “undulgent:”
: “Looking back and examing the past is an act that can feel very self-undulgent (who hasn’t been told at some point to ‘get over it’ or to ‘move on’). ”
: “ It won’t affect his undulgent world in any way, so why would it matter, unless of coourse he has “control” issues! ”
: “For a perfect undulgent treat of a special celebration we offer you gourmet cupcakes with a luxurious selection of flavours … ”
Undulgent sounds a bit like one of those contradictory switches. If it’s not an anticipation error, your take is the only one that makes sense. I’ll undulge you.
The opacity of dulging (even the etymology is unsettled) can lead to reinterpretation as a variant of intelligence, the opposite of it, even: indulligence. Admittedly, rare.
Edit: As a victim of my own exceptional holiday indulgence this year, I looked for self-enbulgent. No joy.
Last edited by David Bird (2013-01-21 00:45:03)