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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2014-02-26 04:27:58

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1277

"vernal" << >> "venereal"

Will you please do a post on how vernal disease is transmitted sexually?
online newspaper comment thread

Are vernal warts cause by nasty sex
Q & A site

can penicillin shot kill vernal disease
another Q & A site

...Jeremy has vernal warts i know she gave them to my 15 year old…
gossip thread

...he went to jail and it was recorded when he went to the doctor’s and found he had siffness (or how ever you spell it ) vernal disease that is what he died of they did not cure it.
discussion about Al Capone
(I love “siffness” for “syphilis” in this one. It seems eggcornish, as the person may have been influenced by imagining stiffness as a symptom.)

Is “vernal” for “venereal” an eggcorn? The pronunciations are close enough, especially for mush-mouthed folks, but the meaning connection is dubious, unless someone is thinking about STDs arising from the friskiness that comes with springtime.

And, the vernal/venereal confusion is a round-tripper:

Next week we will experience the venereal equinox.
list of science bloopers

Isn’t this the venereal equinox?...or something like that. Some earthen holiday of sorts?
discussion thread

The venereal equinox was celebrated; the fertility goddess Oster gave rise to the Easter festival.
another discussion thread

That last example shows a plausible meaning connection (venereal/fertility/Easter/spring). This may really be an eggcorn in some cases.



#2 2014-02-26 10:08:40

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2154

Re: "vernal" << >> "venereal"

This strikes me as a spelling-lazy kind of thing. I don’t find the semantic connections strong enough (or the pronunciation similarities close enough) to think eggcorning is going on. The visual similarity for the mushy-eyed seems stronger to me, likely aided by a spell-checker “fixing” any of various possible misspellings.

*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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