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#1 2017-09-18 17:47:56

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2540

scour, picaresque, fruition

Three terms have popped up this year in the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day that may be stealth-eggcorns:

(1) The first is “scour.” M-W Word of the Day says:

There are two distinct homographs of the verb “scour” in English. One means to clean something by rubbing it hard with a rough object; that “scour,” which goes back to at least the early 14th century, probably derives—via Middle Dutch and Old French—from a Late Latin verb, “excurare,” meaning “to clean off.” [“Scour” meaning “to move about in search”], however, which appears in the 13th century, is believed to derive from the Old Norse skūr, meaning “shower.” (Skūr is also distantly related to the Old English scūr, the ancestor of our English word shower.)

I confess to confusing the two words. Always thought that “scour” in “scour the horizon” was a cleaning metaphor.

(2) The second is “picaresque.” M-W Word of the Day says:

Picaresque derives from Spanish “picaresco,” which means “of or relating to a picaro,” the picaro being the rogue or bohemian usually at the center of picaresque fiction. The typical picaro is a wandering individual of low social standing who happens into a series of adventures among people of various higher classes, and often relies on wits and a little dishonesty to get by.

I’ve heard people use “picaresque” in the sense of “picturesque” (i.e., “beautiful”) rather than the correct sense of “rogueish.” A Paul Brians list in an early post on the Forum mentioned this confusion. Some examples.

(3) The third is “fruition.” M-W Word of the Day says:

Fruition must come from the word “fruit,” right? Not exactly. “Fruition” and “fruit” are related (both ultimately come from the Latin verb “frui,” meaning “to enjoy”), but they were derived independently. The original meaning of “fruition” had nothing to do with fruit. Rather, when the term was first used in the early 15th century, it meant only “pleasurable use or possession.” Not until the 19th century did “fruition” develop a second meaning, “the state of bearing fruit,” possibly as the result of a mistaken assumption that fruition evolved from “fruit.” The “state of bearing fruit” sense was followed quickly by the figurative application to anything that can be “realized” and metaphorically bear fruit, such as a plan or a project.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#2 2017-09-19 01:59:53

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2082
Website

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Kem wrote:

I confess to confusing the two words. Always thought that “scour” in “scour the horizon” was a cleaning metaphor.

I’m entirely with you here. Scouring the countryside has always meant (to me) uprooting every bush or tree (figuratively, of course), cleaning the countryside as if with a scouring pad, eliminating every place where what you’re looking for could lie hidden.

This website keeps you learning, doesn’t it?

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-09-19 02:16:22)


*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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#3 2017-09-19 02:14:34

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2082
Website

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Re fruition, Spanish has a verb disfrutar (surely from fruire , sometimes transitive but more commonly intransitive with the expected object marked by de ‘of’) which means to ‘enjoy the benefit/pleasure of’. Some English speakers learning Spanish have thought that must mean something like “strip the fruit off of”, which could come in a round-about way to mean the same thing, I suppose. It seems surprisingly hard for English speakers to learn to use correctly. (Spanish has a confusingly parallel prefix —a ‘false cognate’ though etymologically they are undoubtedly cognate— dis -, which looks like English’s; a truer cognate —i.e. a closer semantic twin— is des – , and I have heard some Spanish-learners say _*desfrutar_ .)


*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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#4 2017-09-19 03:14:00

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 410

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Fruition, and I think ‘fructus’ and ‘usufruct’ are much the same, also has the present-day legal meaning of the right to use something:

What is ENJOYMENT?
The exercise of a right; the possession and fruition of a right, privilege, or incorporeal hereditament.

(Black’s Law Dictionary)

Though you can bet that they’re not exactly!

Edited to add.: You’ve got to love ‘incorporeal hereditament’

Last edited by JuanTwoThree (2017-09-19 04:41:55)


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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#5 2017-09-20 10:36:11

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 981

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

The typical picaro is a wandering individual of low social standing…

Without altering the imagery a great deal, an interpretation as pickeresqe could refer to those who delve through waste/trash bins and suchlike or even, according to one’s prejudices, seasonal workers like fruit-pickers:

She compliments this pin-point taste in film with a picker-esque sense of diving through the cheap rental piles to sifting through the bottom .

Now, I’m all for kitsch and tongue-in-cheek tackiness, but the food better stand up to the American-picker-esque junk and prison art on the walls and Quentin …

The capitalised examples, on the other hand, seem to whisper Lehmann.

Wife had the Fried Green Tomato BLT and that was good too. Place is fun, and decor is very American Pickeresque .

The atmosphere of the restaurant is worthy of the 5 star rating alone, with an American Picker-esque feeling. The walls are lined with photos of previous patrons, ...

... blend of Gershwin, vernacular American tunes, wild diatonics and beautiful romantic swells. The better adjectives are moving, delightful, even Pickeresque.

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#6 2017-09-22 12:34:23

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2540

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

“Picker-esque.” Funny. Too rare to declare an eggcorn, but a plausible switch. The capitalized “Pickeresque” seems to be a pun about the salmagundi tastes of standard American decor.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#7 2017-09-22 13:19:41

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2540

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Some English speakers learning Spanish have thought that must mean something like “strip the fruit off of”, which could come in a round-about way to mean the same thing,

If it works, why not? The etymological sins of language learning and language teachers—indeed, of teachers in general—are legendary. Mushroom season is almost upon us and I’ll be taking groups into the woods again to look at the fungal bounty of British Columbia. If there are kids along, I’ll be repeating my line about the wee Mycena mushrooms: “little, like a mouse, Moucenas.” I’m aware that the words “mycena” and “mouse” haven’t got an ancestor before proto-indoeuropean, and perhaps not even there, but I can’t resist the comparison. Little minds need lots of scaffolding. Just hope they remember to tear it down when the building is finished.

Languages are full of faux amis, words that are accidentally alike. These false friends give rise to odd hypotheses—theories, for example, that Algonquian and other native American languages are related to Hebrew—but they also provide easy bridges to language learners. Most of these connections are wildly implausible (Mr. Chips gets a good laugh for his English parallel to the Latin phrase “lex canuleia”), but some of them, as in the case of disfrutar, seem like they could be vrais amis.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#8 2017-09-27 15:05:39

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 981

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Adding a ‘g’ to our scouring efforts seems so much more effective.

I’ve actually been scourging the earth looking for a kit like that Warjack kit. Would you mind listing exactly which kit that is?

Meanwhile, Scaryman’s sporks are still scourging the land to try and find the bean.

Sometimes it’s hard to maintain a cheery mien.

Recruiting never stops and Providence continues to scowl the landscape for a big man to add to the class of 2016 that currently only includes ..

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#9 2017-09-28 02:21:27

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 410

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

There are a few cases of ‘score’ seemingly replacing ‘scour’. eg:

I have the spent the last 5 years scoring the earth for magical pants and have found my fill of regular denim.

Scoring the planet for your new pair of elegant eyewear?

we spent many Saturdays scoring the shops

I always find that I’m scoring the internet for simple yet inspirational information

The image of a search being like scoring a joint of meat is a good one.


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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#10 2017-09-28 03:39:08

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 981

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

It’s difficult to see what may be eggcornish within idioms like scarring the landscape but the following must be contenders if only on grounds of being homophones in some BrEnglish dialects. The imagery, though, does seem unnecessarily violent.

I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly!

I really didn’t see it coming and he offered us very little additional information, hence why I am scarring the internet for some info.

After scarring the internet for a couple days I put the following recipe together.

Last edited by Peter Forster (2017-09-28 09:23:43)

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#11 2017-09-28 13:06:10

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1190

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

Peter Forster wrote:

It’s difficult to see what may be eggcornish within idioms like scarring the landscape

Landscapes which have been roughly scoured, or in which one has left no stone unturned, could be scarred.

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#12 2017-09-28 13:17:18

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2082
Website

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

This whole beautiful mess illustrates the notion that pretty much any erroneous form that we can think up can be attested many times over. A corollary to Murphy’s law: if any mistake can be made, it will have been made, and the Internet will let you document it.


*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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#13 2017-09-28 23:46:54

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 147

Re: scour, picaresque, fruition

DavidTuggy wrote:

This whole beautiful mess illustrates the notion that pretty much any erroneous form that we can think up can be attested many times over. A corollary to Murphy’s law: if any mistake can be made, it will have been made, and the Internet will let you document it.

and the internet will help it spread!


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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