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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-02-20 11:17:16

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2383
Website

complement <> compliment

Jorkel listed this way back in 2006 as belonging to his third category of examples from Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage, namely “Homonyms that are likely misspelling of each other, but might also be a source for eggcorns.” Maybe it’s discussed elsewhere on the site, but I didn’t find it.
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It is of course very common. But anytime a complementary piece makes a positive contribution to the overall aspect of what it completes (which is of course most of the time), showing it in a positive light, you have at least the possibility of an eggcorn of sorts, and any compliment that points out or enhances the completeness of something brings the same result.
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Surely they’ve been separated on the etymological tree long enough for it to count! (Fulfilling the requisites of politeness is not what most of us think of as the explanation for compliment any more and is not the rationale referenced above.)

This hair compliments her outfit perfectly! its the flat sleek outfit with BIG full hair. awesome!!

[his] heroic demeanour was complimented by a roguish-looking patch over his left eye

Somehow it didn’t need to be said, but by leaving it there I had paid her a big complement, and she couldn’t stop thanking me!

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-02-20 11:21:34)


*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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#2 2020-03-04 05:22:54

Dadge
Eggcornista
Registered: 2005-11-10
Posts: 80

Re: complement <> compliment

I’d categorise this as Not an Eggcorn.

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#3 2020-03-04 12:30:02

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2383
Website

Re: complement <> compliment

Not usually an eggcorn, I’d agree. Never an eggcorn, not so sure. The motivation is there.


*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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