Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The regulars around here all know that we’re on the verge of our annual orgy of list-making; right after New Year’s, people will start posting lists of their favorite eggcorns posted on the forum during 2009. But anyone can participate—you don’t have to have contributed during the year. So start making that list….
While I’m here, I’m wondering whether anyone has ideas about how we should commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Database, which opened for business on February 15, 2005.
I’m working on a list all of the candidate eggcorns from 2009, similar to the one I posted for 2008. I’ll post it here in the new year.
I’m working on a list all of the candidate eggcorns from 2009, similar to the one I posted for 2008.
Great! I didn’t want to ask publicly whether you were, since I didn’t want to imply that anyone was expecting you to go to that much trouble again. But that was amazingly helpful last year.
I’m not sure what you mean by “here” when you talk about posting your list, but I’d say go ahead and start a new “Best of 2009” thread when you post your list like you did last year so that my call for anniversary ideas doesn’t end up being a distraction. And it was convenient last year to have all the best-of posts in one thread.
At this point it looks like we have more than 700 candidate eggcorns this year. Some one, it would appear, has been feeding growth hormones to our chickens. As I mentioned above, I’ll post the full list of candidates soon after the new year, and I’ll start it, as Pat suggests, in a new thread where you can all make your nominations for best eggcorns.
Some random thoughts as I work my way through the posts…
Several entertaining discussions have marched across our screens in 2009. We turned up some morphological and semantic events that I had not given much thought to before this year. See, for example, lists of n-droppers and n-adders in English, cites of pseudo-Anglicisms, discussions of big fuzzy spots, riffs on sound symbolism, mind games with prefixes and hypercorrections, explorations of semanticized proper names, and, of course, the discovery/christening of a new kind of slip, the Annie Lehmann. I also liked David B’s suggestion that we use the word silicism to represent any computer-caused permutation of English morphology, leaving the established “cupertino” as the spell-checker-caused subset of silicisms. And Pat seems to have gotten the rest of us to adopt his “WTF typo” terminology for pail-like substitutions that happen on the fly.
Lest we think eggcorns are always serious linguistic business, I should point out that Pat found time in 2009 to teach us how to write like William Morris and to appreciate the nuances of middle English verb endings. David B gave us a new motto for our clubhouse, caveat eggtor, and regaled us with a selection of cheeses and wines and teas. We began to notice the fifth-column activities of the sinister Beadwof. The first photograph of an eggcorn appeared on the Internet and we learned about a computer program for detecting eggcorns. For a while in November it was true confession time as we revealed our eggcorn sources. Peter clued us into the curate’s eggcorn and Pat introduced us to the fata morgana drawing us into the desert of word etymolgies, the infamous Eggcorn Omega. We didn’t reach Eggcorn Omega this year. On the contrary, we were startled to come across a number of rather obvious eggcorns, low hanging fruits that had escaped our notice for five years. Pat mentioned in one of his posts a Right Under Our Noses Award, which I rechristened the SNOT (Seen but Not Observed Terms) Award. Santa brought me lump of coal for that one.
Two of our members crossed the fifty-post line and became Eggcornistas: Adam Vero and David Bird. David, using two avatars (burred and DavidBird), racked up almost 500 posts in less than a year–some kind of record for a dayview on this forum, I imagine.
Chris, Arnold and others found time in 2009 to add another 14 eggcorns to our database, several of them drawn from discussions in the forum. And while they were doing that, the rest of us added several more posts to The Thread that Would Not Die.
And, last and least, this was the year that we came under attack. Spammers forced us to switch to a labor-intensive hand registration process for new users.
Last edited by kem (2010-01-01 11:10:43)
My previous post about 2009 highlights—I jumped the gun on that one. Posted when I was only about two-thirds the way through the 2009 entries. I have since added quite a bit to it.