Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
I recently encountered this:
No one will ever come lumbering in with their hands out and head down like a drunken bear with down syndrome.
martial arts discussion
The lack of capitalization makes me wonder if some people don’t know that the term “Down Syndrome” is from someone’s name. Is this what they call an Aunty Lehmann? Perhaps the perps are thinking in terms of someone’s IQ being “down” relative to the average? Anyhow, I suppose it’d take a perp confession to be sure about this one [reaches for rubber hose and sodium pentathol].
There are also a good many hits for “Dawn’s Syndrome”. The interesting part of this is that it follows that pattern of “Boy’s/Girl’s name + Law/Disease/etc” (eg Lorenzo’s disease, Sarah’s Law). It’s more of an up-to-date pattern than the one of “19th century Person’s Law/Syndrome/Disease”
The ’s was officially dropped in the 80s but I don’t think the change was widely noticed, especially not in speech, because of the s of Syndrome.
PS Whilst I don’t always like being told what to do, the suggestions made here about how best to speak and write about Down Syndrome are sound:
On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.