Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Too much coffee can be an aid to eggcorn hunting. Waking at all hours of the night here gives access to radio waves from Deutsche Welle, BBC, PRI, and Radio Australia. Yesterday night I heard an interview with an Australian who raises sheep for meat. . Simple spoonerism. Or something egg-shaped, maybe. Those might be swollen nymph lodes, or nymph loads. Nymphs would be some sort of infection. Blockage by dragonfly larvae. There are hundreds of hits for nymph lodes. And there is a band that call themselves The Nymph Loads. Wishful thinking.
Almost all good spoonerisms yield phrases with semantic portent, don’t they? It’s what makes many of them funny. When the CBC announcer went on the air to identify his network as the “Canadian Broadcorping Castration,” it was funny (to the listeners more than to the announcer, probably) because it made a sort of scatological sense.
A major difference between spoonerisms and eggcorns is that spoonerisms are usually one-offs, unintended (unless the speaker is punning) slips of the tongue. Eggcorns, in contrast, like to establish themselves as standards for a community of speakers. They are often accompanied by folk-etymological justifications that cement the misconnections. Your find of “nymph lode” seems to be an exception to this rule – a spoonerism that has established itself as a standard in certain lects.