Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
This is one of the ones that reunite long-sundered etymological branches. English prompt and Spanish pronto ‘right away, quickly, soon’ both come from Latin promptus ‘ready at hand’ (or one of its relatives). Pronto has been borrowed into English, largely (I guess) through Westerns (cowboy tales). The written form has been influential, and the spelling pronunciation PRAWN-toe is (in my experience) more common among monolingual English speakers than the more-correct PRONE-toe. It makes plenty of phonological and semantic sense for people to immediately perceive prompt itude in the word.
So there I was, […] a serious logistical problem and they needed a presenter – prompto!
For example, you come across a word on MS, ’’nada’’, and you want to know what it means. No problemo! Just activate Babylon by clicking on the word ’’nada’’. And prompto! You learn that ’’nada’’ is Italian for ’’nothing’’.
(fwiw, never think that no problemo is anything but cringeworthy to a Spanish speaker. No hay problema or _(no es) ningún problema_ are the correct forms.)
He will call you back prompto. Why? He knows you are someone who is capable of taking this higher (up the chain of command)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .