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#1 2013-12-29 21:31:46

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 657

Can adding "apostrophe s" make an eggcorn?

Where I live there’s a grocery store chain called Lucky. Many, many people refer to it as “Lucky’s”, apparently assuming it’s named after someone named Lucky. Similarly, many people refer to Lyme disease (named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut) as “Lyme’s disease”—not surprising, as a number of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are named on that “possessive proper noun” pattern, typically after the researcher who first described the condition.

This process seems eggcornish to me. The plausible meaning connection is that the perp is assuming that the term is a reference to someone to whom the founding or discovery of the thing is attributed. Perhaps someone has already discussed the sort of eggcorn created by adding “apostrophe s”—even given it a name? Or am I the first to mention it?

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#2 2013-12-30 05:25:04

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2161

Re: Can adding "apostrophe s" make an eggcorn?

A thing can also be a possessor. “Lucky’s” could be short for “of the place called Lucky.” Same with “Lyme’s disease” It could be a shorthand way of saying “of the disease named after Lyme.” Like you, however, I suspect that in some cases a mental reimaging is happening that involves inventing a person named “Lucky” or “Lyme.” If so, the transformation might be a sort of Lehmann (if we grant that a Lehmann can be a proper to proper noun remapping—I still think I would prefer to reserve the term “Lehmann” for common to proper nouns mapping.)

But is the alteration even an eggcorn? The sound similarity requirement of eggcorns is somewhat compromised by the addition of the possessive “s” at the end of the word.

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#3 2013-12-30 07:13:47

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 657

Re: Can adding "apostrophe s" make an eggcorn?

kem wrote:

But is the alteration even an eggcorn? The sound similarity requirement of eggcorns is somewhat compromised by the addition of the possessive “s” at the end of the word.

Since people’s unaccountable tendency to call people with my last name “Wraggs” instead of Wragg has been apparent since long before I was born, confusing a name with that same name with an s added doesn’t strike me as unlikely at all. And I think a quick perusal of the official eggcorn list would yield quite a few with pronunciation similarities that have been stretched at least that much.

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