Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
It would surprise me if this one hasn’t been discussed here before, but I can’t find any mention of it on this site. Here, a Facebook discussant challenges the relevance of an apparently off-topic comment:
and this is relative to the summer of Love .. how?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/50SOL/? … 1117307609
The pronunciation similarity is, at least arguably, close enough for eggcornicity, as is the meaning connection: both “relative” and “relevant” refer to things that are related one to another.
Both relative to and relevant to so easily mean something like “having to do with” that this construction (and many like it that I have encountered) may well be independent rather than substitutions (potentially eggcornish) of either for the other. E.g. if you paraphrase the example you gave as “and this has to do with/relates to the summer of Love .. how?” it works fine for me.
(Many people do not know the word relevant well or even at all, however one thinks of that as affecting the issue.)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .