Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
This one looks pretty widespread. There’s obviously some part of the US that pronounces asphalt with an inital “ash” sound… I don’t usually hear it said that way.
But as far as imagery goes, there could be an assumption that burning something is a precursor to making asphalt. Or someone who’s seen the Hawaiian volcanos or other basaltic lava producers might assume that asphalt is related to that hot black flowing stuff that comes from volcanoes, which might explain the “ash” root?
Oops—didn’t search first. Looks like this one was discussed at length in 2006:
From a LinkedIn discussion on a closed forum, so I can’t provide a working link.
“I can send you a picture… I even did a KEWIE on a ash-fault street, lasted two weeks and many cars running over it !!”
The 2006 discussion seems to be about ashphalt. I think ash-fault goes a step further in terms of the mental imagery. How about the La Brea tar pits—black, sticky stuff oozing from a fault in the earth, and it’s hot, too, like ashes.
Hi, dmargulis, welcome to the forum.
“Ashfault” is an interesting addition to the history of the much-maligned “asphalt.” The semantics of “fault” don’t seem that implicated (to my sense of meaning, at least), but the invocation of a sense-word for the second half of the term has eggcornical overtones. I note that “asfault” is also common.