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#1 2014-07-03 08:32:57

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 827

'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

Only one example, but it does make some sort of sense if affairs are seen as secret, illicit and subject to disapproval?

Our goal is to make better laws that will prevent people with an affairious interest from taking advantage of the taxpayers and costing us money.

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#2 2014-07-03 13:21:12

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

Excellent sense. I can believe in it. I’m only surprised there was only one. (I agree that the other Google hits were likely to be advertent.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2014-07-03 13:22:50)


*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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#3 2014-07-04 21:07:34

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 634

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

There’s some discussion of n-borrowers and n-losers here.

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#4 2014-07-05 00:54:48

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2119

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

The one example is a transcription of a committee meeting. These have almost no weight in proving eggcorns, unfortunately. The speaker may have said “nefarious.” The transcriber, working on automatic, may not have known or may not have remembered the word and its spelling.and so transcribed, as a result, a phonetic reproduction. If the recorder did not know the word, he/she would not be able to produce an eggcorn, which depends on parallel semantic imaging.

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#5 2014-07-05 02:30:02

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

Hold on. If the recorder did not know the word nefarious but did know the word affair and the suffix – ious/eous , and put the latter two together in his or her mind and wrote the combination down, that is a perfectly good eggcorn. The parallel semantic imaging need only happen in the minds of others, analysts like us. Not so?


*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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#6 2014-07-05 04:38:05

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2119

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

Didn’t say that very well, did I? Noticing an eggcorn depends on a parallel imaging that is in the mind of the eggcorn hunter, true, but it is the projection of the parallel onto the perp, the fact that the perp had two roads in front of him and took the wrong one, that makes the eggcorn.

As an analogy, imagine that you are giving a lecture in Spanish and I’m in your class. I don’t speak Spanish as well as you do, but it’s my job to put your lecture down in my class notes as best I can. You say yerro (mistake). I don’t know the word and I can’t guess its meaning from the context, so I write down the soundalike hierro (iron). Hierro << yerro can’t possibly be an eggcorn for you—it isn’t even your slip. But it can’t be an eggcorn for me, either, because producing an eggcorn depends on creating a similar/same sounding word with a plausible alternate meaning, and in this case I don’t have any meaning to plug the sound into. At best it is a pineapple for me, the lowest level of malaprop. Even if you look at my notes after class and think of some clever way hierro makes sense in the context of your sentence and that it would be an eggcorn if someone made the substitution a regular part of their vocabulary, my notes could not count as evidence of the existence of this eggcorn. They can only be a reminder to you that the eggcorn might exist.

There is a way that this “affairious” substitution could be an instance of an eggcorn, of course. It would be an eggcorn instance if “an affairious” was already an established substitution in the scribe’s vocabulary for “a nefarious.” The scribe then, whenever he/she hears the sound of “a nefarious,” writes down “an affairious” as a representation of the sound. It’s much easier to believe, however, that the scribe does not have this rare eggcorn present in his/her vocabulary and that the scribe is merely filling in the semantic hole created by the unfamiliar “nefarious” with words that have a reasonable phonemic equivalence. The probability that the scribe would write down similar-sounding words that word epicures like us could describe as having a plausible contextual meaning is much greater than the probability that the scribe actual possessed the eggcorn in his/her vocabulary.

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#7 2014-07-05 23:55:33

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: 'an affairious' for 'nefarious'

Oh dear, I also misspoke: what I wrote ignores the whole matter of the misanalyzed (from the analysts’ POV) structure being established for the perp. I should have written “put the latter two together in his or her mind for the first time and wrote the combination down, that is an incipient eggcorn. If that structure is repeated enough to become cognitively entrenched (learned, established), it will be a perfectly good eggcorn.”

Anyway, I’m pretty sure we are on the same page, kem. (Be a shame if we couldn’t be, after all these years!)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2014-07-07 04:18:22)


*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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