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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2009-06-09 20:46:52

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2154

duel-edged sword

1.6k ghits; 1.9 for duel-edged alone, most of the others referring to knives or similar cutlassry.

She is a duel-edged sword. A cold-blooded Assasin but also the protagonist you can’t help but identify with.

but cryo is a duel-edged sword, one that not only villains can use

It was a duel edged sword. He hated the killing but enjoyed the sport as it was tradition in his family and in the area.

in addition, he can also uses a broadsword, and a modefied duel edged sword, called a defender,

In most cases it probably is not highly eggcornish, though if someone thinks this kind of sword was designed and built with two-edges because that is the best kind of sword to use in a duel, perhaps it is for them. In most usages the double-ness is still quite strongly in focus, and it makes it seem less likely that people are actually dropping the word “dual”. “Dual” is, unsurprisingly, sometimes misspelled as “duel” in other contexts as well:

consumers will increasingly see duel pricing in shops and restaurants; prices will be listed in the local currency as well as in euros. Already this duel pricing system has appeared in some locations.

The duel passion for God and the marketplace began long before David took the job at Shell Point.

So this may be just misspelling. On the other hand, at least some of those contexts as well might include the idea of competition (dueling) between the two parts of the duality (e.g. local currencies duking it out with euros, or God and the marketplace vying for supremacy.)
Anyhow, not to my mind a clear eggcorn, but the numbers surprised me and are suggestive.
[I tried comparing numbers of dual vs. duel in these contexts, but had my mistrust of google numbers confirmed. E.g. there are more hits on ˌ“dual-edged sword” than on “dual-edged”—totally illogical, isn’t 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 .)



#2 2009-06-10 04:19:04

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1012

Re: duel-edged sword

I’ve found one example (I thought there’d be more) of a variant which which as well as being very expensive should at least be very sharp:

Angel was there, standing at the foot of my bed, breathing heavily and with this huge jewel-edged sword in hand. The missing lamp was shattered all over the …

(Yes, unless you can see every example on screen google numbers are not to be trusted. Often many of the so-called ‘unique’ hits aren’t either.)



#3 2012-03-10 13:06:42

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1561

Re: duel-edged sword

Here’s an extraordinary version that gets closer to the short u of double-edged, at the expense of meaning. I went looking for something like this after hearing a strange pronunciation of “double-edged sword” on the radio, as if it were “dull bledged”.

Chest (Journal) letter/contribution The advent of higher-dose inhaled corticosteroids has “freed” many asthma patients from oral corticosteroids; however, inhaled corticosteroids, especially in higher doses, can be partially absorbed and can cause systemic consequences.6 These potential systemic consequences are the dull-edged sword of inhaled corticosteroids.

This article, The Dull-Edged Sword of Inhaled Corticosteroids, talks about the danger of side effects from anti-inflammatory medicines. Despite the repeated references to a sword with a dull edge, the idiom sought was clearly the “double-edged sword”. Maybe the side effects are what is dulling the sword for these authors.



#4 2012-03-10 23:02:56

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2601

Re: duel-edged sword

Fascinating. What semantic juice might be squeezed from “dull-edged sword” to turn it into a conundrum, a “double-edged sword?” Perhaps it’s the idea of a messy division.

Here’s another example of “dull-edged sword:”

Trucker training blog: ““Talk about a dull edged sword,” says Murray. “There’s an easing on the driver shortage issue because of how bad the economy is. ”

Just a thought: could “dual-edged” be inching in to “dull-edged?”

I hear the idiom expressed more often as “two-edged sword” than as “double-edged sword.” “Two-edged sword” has its own eggcorn:

Aussie sports forum: “Expansion is a too edged sword. The idea of it seems exceptionally appealling – additional games to watch, extra sponsorship, bigger Tv rights, more attendance etc but this is not always the reality.”

Torah lesson: “There’s a too edged sword here. People who aren’t so smart, but usually think they are have this problem as well, and it results from too many of us having ‘too little,’ as opposed to those that have ‘too much’ self-esteem.”

Gaming forum: “Generally I’d say – and this applies as much to sound – imersive bells and whistles are a too edged sword ; if your brain picks up an obvious pattern e.g. a aircraft in the same place at the same time, person doing the same thing too often, sound obviously looping (as in the rain), then it kills the effect and actually reminds you the whole thing isn’t real.”

A couple of dozen of these “too-edged swords” on the web.

A “two-edged sword” need not be an idiom for “conundrum,” of course. The common Roman sword was a two-edged gladius. It was probably this weapon that the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews had in mind when he/she compared it to Hebrew scripture with this (Heb 4:12, KJV) sentence:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

From this verse Christians pick up the phrase “two edged sword” as a synonym for scripture. Some of them permute this to “too-edged sword:”

Christianity forum:” “The Word is alive and sharp as a too edged sword, it also says”

Last edited by kem (2014-06-18 12:10:52)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#5 2014-06-18 12:45:04

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2601

Re: duel-edged sword

More on the “two/too” substitution. An early eggcorn hunter, the livejournaler who did the An Entangled Bank blog, noted more than a decade ago the replacement of the phrase “two-dimensional” (shallow/flat/uninteresting) with “too dimensional.” Too see this discussion, click here and scroll down and expand the Wednesday, April 21, 2004 entry.

Plenty of examples of this slip on the web. Many users of “two dimensional” mean it in a Kosher sense: understanding “dimensional” as “multi-dimensional,” a too dimensional person is hyper-multi-dimensional. But a number of users mean it in the opposite sense, that of lacking dimensions. This user, for example:

Comment on TV series: “My only problem with her character like most black women on TV or film, it is too dimensional. How come she doesn’t have a home, love interest or a friend?”

If “too dimensional” is indeed an eggcorn, then this person must understand “dimensional” to mean lacking dimension/depth.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#6 2015-07-05 05:08:24

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1276

Re: duel-edged sword

DavidTuggy wrote:

So this may be just misspelling. On the other hand, at least some of those contexts as well might include the idea of competition (dueling) between the two parts of the duality (e.g. local currencies duking it out with euros, or God and the marketplace vying for supremacy.)

Yeah, here are a few other examples of “duel” for “dual” that are plausibly eggcornish; the meaning-connection could be a conflict or duel between the two parts of the person’s dual personality:

His duel personality a DC Fanatic and a fake Marvelnut
movie discussion

what real differance if any is their between a duel personality and a split personality
Transformers discussion

Duel Personality disorder, is a disorder where a person is confused about who they are and have multiple personalities…
psychology discussion



#7 2015-07-05 13:45:12

From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 428

Re: duel-edged sword

It has eggcornish beginnings, this duel/dual thing:

duel (n.) 1590s (from late 13c. in Latin form), from Medieval Latin duellum “combat between two persons,” by association with Latin duo “two,” but originally from Latin duellum “war,” an Old Latin form of bellum (see bellicose). Retained in poetic and archaic language and apparently given a special meaning in Medieval or Late Latin of “one-on-one combat” on fancied connection with duo “two.”

On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.



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