Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Speaking of antonyms, how about this substitution:
: “just one day at time take it in strife that’s how I’m going to try to live my life . ”
: “yeah they may take things from you or give you hell but take it in strife. ”
: “Yet we all know who is in charge of LIFE. So we must take it all in strife.
What these people have written is the opposite of what they meant to say, I think.
Frequency: at least 20 examples on the web.
It’s a good example of something else you’ve discussed, of opposites only being opposite in some particular semantic context, and their being susceptible to a different understanding in some other context.
It seems reasonable enough to me that take it in strife could mean ‘take it as part of the strife’, sort of equivalent to ‘recognize that that’s life’. The whole phrase then would, for me anyway, be quite compatible with take it in stride , i.e. ‘keep moving confidently, not letting it stymie you or even slow you down.’
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
take it in strife could mean ‘take it as part of the strife’
A point I hadn’t thought about. In this case, as you say, it could be a real eggcorn.
a good example of something else you’ve discussed, of opposites only being opposite in some particular semantic context
This may not be an example of DNA substitution. A semantic linkage of this type would run something like this:
“In stride” and “in strife” are probably ways of handling adversity. I’m not confident about the exact meaning of “in stride” so I’ll just substitute “in strife.”
The problem with this analysis is that the adverbial phrase “in strife” is not an idiom, at least not a common one. Chances are that the speaker/writer is doing a substitution of the nouns “strife” and “stride,” not a substitution of the complete adverbial phrases, and nouns make poor antonyms—I don’t think most speakers would see real opposition in “strife” and “stride.”
But wait. You said “the strife,” with an article. I do feel some opposition between “the strife” and “the stride.” Both seem to be descriptive nouns referencing the way the world presents itself. Perhaps there is a suppressed article in the phrase “in strife.”
Last edited by kem (2010-01-19 18:24:28)
I understood this the same way that David did … with the ellipsis of words. But, whether it’s “strife” or “stride” I think the eggcorner’s main emphasis is on the need for effort to confront difficulties. The failure to distinguish between “strife” and “stride” is rather secondary. It’s as if we have a malapropism built upon an eggcorn.
It’s a keen observation that “in strife” is not idiomatic, but that’s the whole basis behind eggcorns: that they are derived from something that is idiomatic—which “in stride” is.
Last edited by jorkel (2010-01-20 02:48:39)