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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2006-08-18 20:31:03

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"Merchant of Venus"

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m cheating by getting two posts out of essentially one phrase. But see? That’s why you should post down here at “Slips, etc.” with all the cool kids. In “Contribute,” you’re supposed to justify the eggcorn status of your chosen word with analysis and online evidence – and there just aren’t many phrases that prove to be convincingly eggcornish in both directions. But here in the Land of Malaprops, the evidentiary standards are delightfully lower. Your post doesn’t have to feature a true eggcorn – just something that’s verbally interesting. “Merchant of Venus,” “the goddess Venice” – they both count in this nick of the woods.

“Merchant of Venus” sounds to me like it should have been the sequel to the classic SF novel The Space Merchants by Fred Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth. Or maybe the book Philip K. Dick wrote after Martian Time-Slip. There’s also a boardgame that’s officially named Merchant of Venus. That makes it impossible to get a Google count for the number of times this slip occurs in a Shakespearean context. But guess what? Boardgame enthusiasts have a problem with people who misspell the name:

And the auctioneers, who handled the auction as well as anyone could, continued to show an occasionally humorous lack of knowledge about the world of board games. In addition to calling SPI games “spy” games, as he did at the last auction, he said the following:
In the most understandable flub, Merchant of Venus became “Merchant of Venice.”
http://boardgames.about.com/library/blo … 030503.htm

So is “nick of the woods” (100s of hits) an eggcorn or a malapropism? I can’t decide.

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