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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-02-26 05:15:20

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2137

eligible << legible

“Eligible” occasionally replaces “legible” in descriptions of handwriting. A few of the hundreds of examples on the web are given below. Some of these replacements are probably eggcorns – legible writing is writing that is eligible to be read.

A student guide at Central Connecticut State University: “Print or write eligibly your complete last name when entering a … note.”

Anime-based web fiction: “He found out in that time that Akane could already read, swim, and do basic math. She couldn’t ride a bike or write eligibly yet however.”

Contestant instructions by the Alliance Française in Singapore: “The texts in French and English should be typed (or in eligible handwriting ) after the card. ”

Post on the Malaysian Students’ Network: “Just make sure its in eligible handwriting. It makes a bad impression if the handwriting is terrible.” [sometimes choosing the wrong word can also give a bad impression]

On a web site by a wedding planner for Irish who are getting married in Italy [Is this something common? Do Irish priests charge too much?]: “The Embassy recommends the forms be type out, or clear and eligible handwriting be used. ”

The phrase “eligible handwriting” also serves as a substitute for “illegible handwriting,” a slip that may convey a sense opposite to what is intended.

The switch can go in the other direction, with “legible” replacing “eligible,” as Ken noted in 2007, but the reshaping has, in my opinion, low eggcorn potential.

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