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#1 2017-09-08 13:38:36

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 974

'full on hope' for 'forlorn hope'

The sense of extreme or unrestrained hope in the full on eggcorn seems a strangely apposite interpretation of the acorn. The first example is from an interview with the poet Sarah Howe:

I like how being over here unsettles my perception of language and its givens. I did an interview a couple of months ago before a reading in New York. When the typed-up transcript came back, it was strange but also delightful to see how my interlocutor had “translated” me into American: my “mum” became my “mom” and a “forlorn hope” that I’d learn to play the violin one day became in her ear a “full-on hope”—isn’t that great? I should put that in a poem.

“I think The Clientele are one of probably about six million bands who formed to be bigger than the Beatles, you know? That was our plan,” MacLean told me. “You realize that that’s a bit more of a full-on hope each year.”

No more examples, but I think we should happily continue to submit singletons/nonces/twices and the like.

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#2 2017-09-08 15:06:58

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2071
Website

Re: 'full on hope' for 'forlorn hope'

A truly classic example of how what seems at first to be (and in a real sense actually is) an opposite can come to mean the same thing. A forlorn hope, in my mind, is wasting away into weakness, no longer strong, and destined to die. Yet at one point —and the more salient and mention-worthy its current forlorn-ness, the truer it is— it was strong and robust: a full-on hope. I love it!
.
If you meant apposite as a pun, Peter, Bravo!, and if not, more serendipity!

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-09-08 15:08:21)


*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 2017-09-09 04:18:31

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 974

Re: 'full on hope' for 'forlorn hope'

David, it is kind of you to ascribe such a punning stunt to me, but I’m afraid I did mean ‘apposite’ as I’d locked into the term’s military significance. I can’t remember where I first came across it, and rather than torment my memory I’ll just pinch this explanation from Wikipedia:

Etymology
The term comes from the Dutch verloren hoop, literally “lost troop”. The term was used in military contexts to denote a troop formation.

The Dutch word hoop (in its sense of heap in English) is not cognate with English hope: this is an example of false folk etymology. The mistranslation of verloren hoop as “forlorn hope” is “a quaint misunderstanding” using the nearest-sounding English words. This false etymology is further entrenched by the fact that in Dutch the word hoop is a homograph meaning “hope” as well as “heap”, though the two senses have different etymologies.

While the word hoop has many equivalents in English, including ‘pile’ and ‘accumulation’ perhaps the nearest English translation that most accurately captures the sentiment, at least in military affairs, is lost bunch or lost crowd given the slender expectations of those given such a high-risk assignment.

History
In the German mercenary armies of the Landsknechts, these troops were called the Verlorene Haufen, which has the same meaning as the Dutch term, the word Haufen itself being a general term for a loosely organised group of men. These men carried long double-handed swords, with which they had to hew their way through the massive pike formations opposing them. They also had to withstand the first wave of attacks when defending a breastwork. Members of the Verlorene Haufen earned double pay, thus giving them the name of Doppelsöldner (‘Double-wagers’), but since there were not enough volunteers, criminals that had been sentenced to death were taken into the ranks as well. As a field sign, the Verlorene Haufen carried a red Blutfahne (‘Blood Banner’).

By extension, the term forlorn hope became used for any body of troops placed in a hazardous position, e.g., an exposed outpost, or the defenders of an outwork in advance of the main defensive position. This usage was especially common in accounts of the English Civil War, as well as in the British Army in the Peninsular War of 1808–1814, and in the days of muzzle-loading muskets, the term was most frequently used to refer to the first wave of soldiers attacking a breach in defences during a siege.

While it was likely that most members of the forlorn hope would be killed or wounded the intention was that some would survive long enough to seize a foothold that could be reinforced, or at least that a second wave with better prospects could be sent in while the defenders were reloading or engaged in mopping up the remnants of the first wave. That said such soldiers were rarely suicidal or foolhardy: British troops of the forlorn hope at the 1812 Siege of Badajoz carried a large bag (5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) by 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter) stuffed with hay or straw, which was thrown down into the enemy trenches to create a cushion and prevent injury as they jumped down.

A forlorn hope may have been composed of volunteers and conscripted criminals and were frequently led by ambitious junior officers with hopes of personal advancement: if the volunteers survived, and performed courageously, they would be expected to benefit in the form of promotions, cash gifts and adding glory to their name (a military tradition at least as old as the Roman Republic while the commanding officer himself was virtually guaranteed both a promotion and a long-term boost to his career prospects.

In consequence, despite the grave risks involved for all concerned, there was often serious competition for the opportunity to lead such an assault and to display conspicuous valor.

The French equivalent of the forlorn hope, called Les Enfants Perdus (‘The Lost Children’), were all guaranteed promotion to officer rank should they survive, with the effect that both enlisted men and officers joined the dangerous mission as an opportunity to raise themselves in the army.

Last edited by Peter Forster (2017-09-09 04:38:13)

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#4 2017-09-09 07:03:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2071
Website

Re: 'full on hope' for 'forlorn hope'

I had no idea. Blow me away.


*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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#5 2017-09-18 16:51:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2536

Re: 'full on hope' for 'forlorn hope'


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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