Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
An eggcorn heard today by my daughter, in conversation: “We used to be close, but he’s been acting distinct lately.” Normally I might suspect “acting distinct” to be a cupertino, perhaps for something like distint. But aural evidence is hard to deny in this case. Distant comes from stand away from. Distinct comes from distinguish, prick apart, ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European root *steig-, for “stuck, stick, stitch, thistle”. Say those 5 times quickly. So “being distinct” means separate in a way that’s not so literal as “being distant.”