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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2017-01-30 11:30:20

Registered: 2015-12-27
Posts: 2

"send shutters through" for "send shudders through"

This crossed my inbox today from an advertisement for a webinar on “The Secrets to Retaining Millennial Talent 2017,” from (get your certification hours heeyah!) Well, maybe not so skilled at teaching writing. Besides the eggcorn, this citation is actually a good example of the top-20 college “grammar error” known as a fused sentence. Quote:

Most of us realize that turnover costs are massively expensive and losing key talent can send shutters of disruption throughout the organization. ( … ial-talent)

This appears to be an interesting subvariant of the venerable shudder > shutter (, also noted in the phrase “shuddering noise” ( … hp?id=5035). “Send shutters through” Googles 244 hits, some as respectable as and, so it’s out there. But, I think this variant sometimes has an especially classic eggcorny flavor than most occurrences of shudder > shutter.

I find it painful to imagine shutters being sent through an audience, but the above instance, at least, speaks very passable eggcornese by activating another idiomatic “shutter,” that is, being “shuttered,” in reference to closed businesses. It’s certainly possible that losing a lot of talent of any kind could shutter any organization.

In any case, the relatively high proportion of references to markets, institutions, symbolic social connections, and even literal office buildings among Google references suggest that the idea of “closing up shop” is the idiomatic recasting some “shutterers” have in mind. Or, alternatively, “retreating for protection inside a secured structure”: some contexts also refer to avoiding danger, or how vision or sight can be deliberately blocked, as by a shutting a shutter, in a frightening situation. Examples below.

—Chris Kuipers

“Amazing how one simple invention can send shutters through the entire glass industry!” [the invention in question is a slot in the wooden arm of an outdoor chair, for inserting the stem of a wine glass]

“Here, readers can visualize a night, tormented by the weather, and defined by the attempt at life by Victor’s monster. The opening of the eye can send shutters through the engaged reader—they will (hopefully) feel the same fear felt by Victor as the monster again opens his eye.”

“This mind you, was only five years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and something that would send shutters through any country that might be a target of the dreadful weapon.”

“likely send shutters through the market as tenants would have less leverage in lease negotiations since they would be dealing with a landlord who controls so much of the city’s top-tier office space.”

[re: “Sleevegate”; Obama dons a taupe suit:] “The president scheduled a press conference and decided to adorn an ensemble that would send shutters through the stiff-necked paradigms of millions across the nation” [many wanted to “unsee” it?]

“I guess Magna’s president Michael Neuman thought he would send shutters through the racing community when he declared that Magna will not build any new race tracks”

“send shutters through City Hall and vote out the incubments” (sic)

“The thought of this passing the Knesset would send shutters through the American-Israeli relationship”



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