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#1 2010-10-22 01:21:24

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Eggcorn Squash

(Following up on former, Spam-contaminated, postings:)
.
Eggcorn Squash is not a bad name for the eggcorns that arise from a blend, hey?
.
What do you all think?
.
(“Squish” is actually a technical term for some linguists, but it means a kind of blend that results in a gradation, more like our “fuzzy spots” than like what we tend to call a blend here. “Squash” I have not heard as a technical term.)


*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 .)

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#2 2010-10-22 05:00:47

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 942

Re: Eggcorn Squash

I’m an early adopter.

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#3 2010-10-25 14:37:03

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2121

Re: Eggcorn Squash

Sounds good to me. Recognition by the OED can’t be far off.

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#4 2010-10-28 23:09:28

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 635

Re: Eggcorn Squash

Pardon my ignorance/confusion, but remind me of what we’re calling a “blend” here, with a couple of examples, please.

Thanks!

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#5 2010-10-28 23:46:59

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: Eggcorn Squash

A “blend” is when you have two things in mind (typically two nearly synonymous expressions) and come up with something that has characteristics of both but is neither.
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Last night I caught myself saying “That was really a stilly thing to do.” Introspecting, I was (and am) quite sure that I had both stupid and silly in mind, and blended them. (There are a lot of other examples of the word with that meaning that you can find by googling.)
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Another example (next to stilly in my database) was: Oh, you’re just an old stick-in-the-wooḏs ; which I take to be a blend of “stick-in-the-mud” with “babe in the woods.” The two expressions are not, of course, synonymous, but they share the critical meaning component of designating a person who is not (in the speaker’s view) “with-it”, whose thought is either outmoded or infantile/naïve rather than admirably perpicacious.
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Blends are surprisingly common. Many are rather striking. Some actually wind up making sense in a surprising way, and those are the ones that are good candidates for eggcornhood (if they are standard for the speaker, and meet whatever other criteria one establishes for eggcornishness.)
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Most blends are not eggcorns, but some eggcorns do seem to arise through blending. If “stick-in-the-woods” is standard and is understood to mean “a piece of wood among all the other pieces of wood in the woods; ∴ ordinary, unremarkable”, I would judge it to be an eggcorn. I do not know it to be the case for the perpetrator; it is more likely a one-off error. It’s not common on the Internet, though I did find:

Mac of Placid – Resultado de la Búsqueda de libros de Google
Thomas Morris Longstreth – 2008 – History – 360 páginas
And he must have sensed it, for he added : ” But none like you, you old stick-in-the- woods; none I ever liked so much.” ” I ‘11 remember that when I ‘m

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2010-10-28 23:55:59)


*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 .)

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#6 2010-10-29 00:25:57

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 635

Re: Eggcorn Squash

Oh, yeah, like “laxadaisical” (lax + lackadaisical), or “flustrated” (flustered + frustrated). Thanks for the reminder!

FWIW, I think “eggcorn squash” is a dandy name for eggcorns resulting from blends.

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#7 2010-10-30 05:31:03

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2121

Re: Eggcorn Squash

Should we make a distinction between (1) idiom blends (blidioms), in which words are inserted into an idiomatic expression under the influence of another idiomatic expression, and (2) squashes, which result in a new, non-lexical word by combining parts of two lexical words. “Stick in the woods,” in other words, would be a blidiom, “stilly” would be a squash. If the insertions/new words are phonetically similar to the ones they replace and the change seems semantically motivated, then the results are eggcorn blidioms or eggcorn squashes.

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#8 2010-10-30 10:13:27

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: Eggcorn Squash

That can be done, of course. The (very real) differences among different kinds of blends (and there are others besides these one-word/multiple-word and new-word/wrong-word distinctions) are all matters of degree. A squish, in other words.

Much as I find in the case of the root/stem distinction (which is another one-component/multiple-component distinction), I find that the similarities, for my most common purposes, are more crucial than the differences, so it is (for me, in most of my linguistic work) useful to call them all blends, and then distinguish between them by modifiers, e.g. I prefer to say ‘monomorphemic stem’ instead of “root”, and similarly ‘one-word blend’ for “squash”, idiom blend for “blidiom”, etc.

One parameter (or more) of differentiation is implied by the term “non-lexical”, which you used. It is a bit of a dangerous term: people may mean different things by it. I think you may mean “not in the dictionary”, which may imply principally “not widely established”, but you probably also mean something like “nevertheless a single word” and maybe even “nevertheless a root”. I would tend to see stick in the mud and babe in the woods as lexical items as well, and if stilly or stick in the woods are established for some speakers (as eggcorns must be), I would say they are therefore in the lexicons of those speakers, and, to that degree, lexical.
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Anyway, as usual, it all depends on your definitions, and it is a good thing to be explicit about them.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2010-10-31 01:01:09)


*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 .)

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#9 2010-10-30 17:18:28

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 942

Re: Eggcorn Squash

Blidiom: a blithering idiom. Nice. First used for haywall in 2008.

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#10 2010-11-05 15:06:19

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2121

Re: Eggcorn Squash

The language column at The Economist argues that “shellacking,” which has been so much in the news lately because of Obama’s use of the term, is something like an eggcorn squash.

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#11 2010-12-01 23:53:34

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: Eggcorn Squash

The column suggests that

A “hiding”, I assume (though I haven’t been able to find such an explanation, even in the venerable OED) refers to a beating with a whip made of animal hides

That surprised me. I had thought it was having the hide flayed off you. Another hidden reshaping/reanalysis has gone on here, for one or the other of us.


*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 .)

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