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#1 2006-08-17 22:48:17

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

"plutonic love"

I’d thought of saving this post for Valentine’s Day, but after seeing p00bare’s recent astronomy-oriented posts, I decided to join the party.

I can’t claim credit for this one. I found it in an old (well, for the Internet) list of eggcorns cited in the Database entry for “bawl>>ball.”

I’m not sure the people who use “Plutonic love” are actually thinking very hard about the Greek god of the Underworld; since it may not be a true eggcorn, I’ve put it here on the “Slips, etc.” page. But I guess sexless love might be thought of by some as a death-in-life. Or others might be thinking of it as an astronomical metaphor; if so, maybe they’re implying that Plutonic love is as cold, small and distant as the planet Pluto. And since some astronomers now believe that the planet Pluto may not even exist (at least as a planet), well, there you go.

The last citation below is interesting because it’s the first of a series of remarks on “Plutonic love” in a discussion forum for the popstar Regina Spektor. After the person quoted below posted, he was taken to task for his malapropism by another poster. That prompted a spirited defense of “Plutonic love” by yet another person. Unfortunately, the guy who originally wrote the phrase then popped up again, saying, nope, I wasn’t being deep – it was just a typo. That kind of thing gives me pause any time I claim something’s an eggcorn.

One more digression for all the instructors out there. The second citation is from one of those “free term paper” sites. No comment. Examples:

Making room for plutonic love in your heart is different than unresolved sexual desire.
http://www.fazed.com/lifestyle/salad_days.html

This lust for pleasure will soon fade, but the part of love that is immortal, is a plutonic love.
http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=81374

However, it is unclear if the couple’s relationship is purely plutonic.
http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/33645266

Plutonic love kicks major arse and I wish it could exist for all people.
http://reginaspektor.infopop.cc/eve/for … 4311043141

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#2 2006-08-18 19:36:23

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

Re: "plutonic love"

There’s some weird Plutonic synchronicity going around right now. First, gailey and I posted on “plutonic love” within a day of each other. Maybe we were both inspired by p00bare’s posts. And now I just went to Language Log, and found that Geoffrey K. Pullum posted an essay on Pluto and the difficulty of defining planets the same day I mentioned the topic: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/language … .html#more
(Cue someone mimicking the Twilight Zone theme right here.)

Omens associated with Pluto are usually no fun at all. Glad I’m not superstitious.

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