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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2013-07-23 20:58:51

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 1910

The sole of discretion, not a sole etc.

Paul Brians (and many others) notes the confusion between the homonyms soul and sole and jorkel notes that here .

In many contexts there seems no good reason to posit that they are eggcorns. E.g.:

My Father, God rest his sole, had the misfortune of …

In some contexts, as Joe suggests, these homonyms can achieve eggcornhood. Two that might do that for sole << soul are the the sole of N and not a(n) N constructions.

If I tell you a secret, will you promise not to tell a sole?

Here the meaning “not tell a single person” fits pretty well with the semantics of sole .

Only Duncan knows I am here, and he is the sole of discretion.

She is the sole of propriety, avoiding scandal at all cost.

There was only one person with whom he would speak of this, and only because he knew that person to be the sole of discretion.

Here the meaning is something like “the epitome of quality N,” which is close to being “the one person who can claim the title of being the most thoroughly characterized by quality N”. Again, a link to the meaning of sole is quite plausible.

*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 .)



#2 2013-07-25 22:55:59

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1338

Re: The sole of discretion, not a sole etc.

I wonder if there is blending or bleeding from expressions like “a single soul.” The round tripper is out there too, and makes sense, though that might not be intentional.

The selection is at the soul discretion of the members of Optimum specimen Carp Angling

Perhaps they were just avoiding the word sole here.



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