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#1 2013-11-03 09:23:36

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

"Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

This one is new to this site. There appear to be well over 200 unique Google hits that aren’t puns, etc., such as:

As the saga continues you have the failure of the administration to act on Hurricane Katrina, the CIA spy leak, election scandals, Abu Grave …

i had also found an image but no longer can find it, of a woman who was a detainee at abu grave, the image was of her lifting up her shirt revealing her breasts. this is interesting to me because i was unaware that women were also being held at abu grave.

The Abu Grave stuff gets headlines, but really it’s the day to day that deserves all that attention.

He says that the people can be driven to evil, and he feels that torture in places like Abu grave and Guantanamo demonstrate how the guards …

The followers of Osama are subject to arrest, torture, rape, whipping, and murder at the hands of the American Authorities, such as is in Abu Grave and Guan Panama Bay, Cuba…

So you think the US military’s behavior in Abu Grave was appropriate?

I think it’s an eggcorn because “grave”, either in the noun sense as a repository of a dead body or in the adjectival sense as in very, very serious is easily associated with Abu Ghraib.

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#2 2013-11-04 15:28:30

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 946

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

Looks like a winner, despite the bent to rewrite foreign names on purpose. I see you left us a truffle: not an eggcorn but an interesting mondegreen perhaps: Guan Panama Bay.

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#3 2013-11-04 20:36:34

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

burred wrote:

Looks like a winner, despite the bent to rewrite foreign names on purpose. I see you left us a truffle: not an eggcorn but an interesting mondegreen perhaps: Guan Panama Bay.

I’m glad you appreciate the truffle. I promise it’s not the Savoy variety. The presence of said truffle is what motivated me to choose that particular example over many others. But I’m not so sure “Guan Panama Bay” isn’t an eggcorn. The sound is clearly there, and the meaning connection would be that both Guantanamo and Panama are Caribbean locations. Are you denying it eggcorn status because of the presence of the vagrant “Guan” with no visible means of eggcorn support?

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#4 2013-11-04 20:58:46

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

It is (assuming it is standard and non-advertent for the perp) an analogue of a Lehmann’s term, only with a geographico-political rather than a human referent of the proper name. (Such cases seem to me to provide a fair bit of ammunition for the argument that proper names are not meaningless, as some have claimed.)


*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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#5 2013-11-04 21:51:19

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

DavidTuggy wrote:

It is (assuming it is standard and non-advertent for the perp) an analogue of a Lehmann’s term, only with a geographico-political rather than a human referent of the proper name. (Such cases seem to me to provide a fair bit of ammunition for the argument that proper names are not meaningless, as some have claimed.)

If my understanding of the definition of “Lehmann’s term” is correct, the proper name does not have to be that of a person; the name of a geographical location would equally satisfy the criterion. So the “Guan Panama Bay” example wouldn’t be merely an analogue of a Lehmann’s term on that account. However, one could argue that a substitution involving two proper names with no “non-proper” words involved doesn’t fit the definition of a Lehmann’s term (nor any of its variations, e.g. anti-Lehmann, etc.) as previously discussed on this site, especially if neither name could be interpreted as a non-proper word or phrase with relevant meaning (e.g. “Madeoff” for “Madoff”). AFAIK, that complication has not yet been addressed in discussions about the definitions of “Lehmann’s terms”, etc.—or has it?

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#6 2013-11-04 22:24:13

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

Dixon Wragg wrote:

If my understanding of the definition of “Lehmann’s term” is correct, the proper name does not have to be that of a person; the name of a geographical location would equally satisfy the criterion. So the “Guan Panama Bay” example wouldn’t be merely an analogue of a Lehmann’s term on that account.

I guess I don’t care a whole lot about our definitions at this point, as long as we can agree that the prototype for the Lehmann’s term has involved the proper name of a person. Whether this is a Lehmann’s term that doesn’t match the prototype or whether it is (merely or not) an analogue of a more strictly-defined Lehmann’s term comes to much the same thing, as far as I’m concerned. The point for me is that a proper name is recognized and read into a structure that did not have it in earlier usage, and this makes some sort of sense (as it must to be eggcornical).
.
The main reason it is important, it seems to me, is that it is harder for people to assert that geographical names are meaningless, than is the case for the more typical proper names (those of people). The difference is that the proper names for people often do not have (and may even be specified not to have) much of a meaning that holds culture-wide, whereas the geographical ones do. E.g. Dorothy does mean culture-wide a woman or girl that is called by that name (and the specification of female sex is indeed a bit of culture-wide meaning), but which particular woman or girl is referred to is expected to differ from one group of interlocutors to the next. That is not the case with Chicago or Panama .)

However, one could argue that a substitution involving two proper names with no “non-proper” words involved doesn’t fit the definition of a Lehmann’s term (nor any of its variations, e.g. anti-Lehmann, etc.) as previously discussed on this site, especially if neither name could be interpreted as a non-proper word or phrase with relevant meaning (e.g. “Madeoff” for “Madoff”). AFAIK, that complication has not yet been addressed in discussions about the definitions of “Lehmann’s terms”, etc.—or has it?

I don’t remember, and am kind of lazy to go looking. It seems to me it would just be a double-yolked Lehmann —why not? It does seem like we’ve had an example or two. You would expect such a thing to pop up occasionally.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-11-04 22:35:45)


*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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#7 2013-11-05 00:21:20

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2145

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

I don’t think “Guan Panama Bay” for “Guantanamo Bay” is a Lehmann. Lehmanns happen when we replace a common noun with a proper noun. In the “Guan Panama Bay” case, we are replacing a proper noun with another proper noun. It would be like hearing someone give her name as “Alicia” and thinking that she said “Alice Shaw.”

Though not a Lehmann, “Guan Panama Bay” could still be an eggcorn, of course. Depends on what you think about the semantic content of proper names.

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#8 2013-11-05 02:50:36

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

Again, it’s a matter of definitions. I would have said “Lehmanns happen when we replace some piece of an acorn structure (be it a noun, proper or common, or some other full or partial structure) with a proper noun.”
.
To be sure, the replaced structure fairly often is a common noun. It was in the eponymous example ( Lehmann < layman .) Often enough it isn’t, though, and it may not even be a full morpheme (e.g. the a- in acorn that gets turned into an egg is not a noun or any other part of speech). That is what I see happening in GuanPanama ; the morpheme partial tánamo , which means nothing by itself, is replaced by the meaningful Panama . The fact that this takes place within a toponym (geographical place name) I would have thought basically irrelevant.
.
We typically haven’t put much in the way of strictures on what part of speech that piece of the “acorn” that gets replaced is, or what part of speech the acorn as a whole is. We can of course do so if we want, making it part of our definitions. I don’t see the reason to do so, but maybe that’s just me.
.
Note fwiw that many toponyms have perfectly meaningful pieces, some of which may be proper nouns or common nouns, as in Three Mile Island or Batesburg-Leesville or Pacific View (with a toponymic proper noun, itself derived from an adjective, in the last example). So expecting to find meaningful bits of different sorts in a toponym is quite reasonable.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-11-05 03:24:55)


*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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#9 2013-11-05 05:11:16

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: "Abu Grave" for "Abu Ghraib"

My impression is that the details of the definitions of terms like “Lehmann” are still under discussion, with nothing written in stone. Am I wrong about that?

The notion that the acorn for a Lehmann must be a noun seems pointless to me, as does the converse that the eggcorn for an anti-Lehmann must be a noun. I see no reason to limit it thus; the cognitive process is the same in either case, and the results are fundamentally the same. If, for some seemingly arbitrary reason, we’re gonna define these terms as limited to nouns, then I guess we’ll have to invent different terms for eggcorns that are identical in cognitive process but different in insignificant ways (such as parts of speech). Why proliferate terms that much? In defining basic, non-Lehmann eggcorns, we don’t specify part of speech, do we?

As DavidTuggy wrote:

Again, it’s a matter of definitions. I would have said “Lehmanns happen when we replace some piece of an acorn structure (be it a noun, proper or common, or some other full or partial structure) with a proper noun.”
To be sure, the replaced structure fairly often is a common noun. It was in the eponymous example ( Lehmann < layman .) Often enough it isn’t, though, and it may not even be a full morpheme (e.g. the a- in acorn that gets turned into an egg is not a noun or any other part of speech). That is what I see happening in GuanPanama ; the morpheme partial tánamo , which means nothing by itself, is replaced by the meaningful Panama . The fact that this takes place within a toponym (geographical place name) I would have thought basically irrelevant.
We typically haven’t put much in the way of strictures on what part of speech that piece of the “acorn” that gets replaced is, or what part of speech the acorn as a whole is. We can of course do so if we want, making it part of our definitions. I don’t see the reason to do so, but maybe that’s just me.
.

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