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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-04-07 17:14:42

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2152

screwtinize << scrutinize

Scores of web sites use “screwtinize/screwtinise” in place of “scrutinize/scrutinise.”

I can think of two semantic rationales for the switch. One is the way people twist (screw up) their faces when examining something closely. The other is the desire to put others on the spot (screw them) by looking closely at their behavior.

A few examples:

Post on a sneeze fetish (!) forum: “I’m sorry but if you are in the public eye- right or wrong your speech will be screwtinized and to act shocked over that is bizzare to me.”

Auto forum on Camaros (no, not a dentistry site): “Also, the pattern should have good root-to-tip tooth contact…. any ‘hard’ line close to the root of the tooth should be screwtinized.”

Thread on a private school (Singapore site): “Laselle on the other hand took the liberty to screwtinize my work. and even offered me to skip foundation and proceed to level 1”

Political forum: “let’s screwtinise your company and try find all those Joes (Joses) who do not fall for the lipstick on McCain ”


We might suppose a similar transformation would affect “inscrutable” (“inscrewtable”) and “scrooge” (“screwge”). And it may. But the task of finding eggcorns is clouded by a fog of puns, ranging from album covers to game avatars to alternative cartoons to underground neologisms to Dickens parodies to usernames to porn characters to bawdy poetry. “Screwtineer” for “scrutineer” (UK and Canadian readers will know the word) is less polluted, but there are few examples of the error.

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#2 2011-04-08 21:24:48

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1193

Re: screwtinize << scrutinize

Funny and amazing. Sounds like it has been influenced by “put the screws on, or to” someone.

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