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Thanks for your understanding.
Chris -- 2018-04-11
Ken Lakritz found in 2005. That’s the comparative, and it’s a natural eggcornish interpretation of the spoken word hierarchy. On the radio the more modest higharchy is easier to spot, and that’s where I heard it recently.
The word hierarchy has probably developed the meaning it has from an eggcornical notion that it contains some reference to height, and therefore to rank. It originally signified “sacred governance” or “a leader of sacred rites,” from hieros, “sacred”, and archein, “to lead”. It made its way into English from M.L. via O.Fr., and came to be applied to ranked organizations at the beginning of the 17th c., where it was “probably influenced by higher.”
There is a mass of testimony from ancient profane history, especially as drawn from the monuments paintings and higheroglyphics of that day, which confirms this inference.
Today I encountered this in a YouTube comment:
No one owns anonymous it has no higharchy
Googling yielded 485 hits, a few of them possibly puns, but most apparently the eggcorn. Just thought I’d bring it up in case someone here hasn’t seen this one before.