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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-08-07 22:04:03

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 971

to throw damp water on

The “Eggcorn of the week” on Language Log yesterday was damper the enthusiasm. Mark Liberman assesses it as not very poetic since it looks like a substitution of suffixes, from _-en_ to _-er_. In the discussion, the possibility is raised that it is a blend with “temper the enthusiasm”. Then a series of comments are made about the confusion of dampen and damp as verbs. It appears that the two words with quite different senses are derived from a single root, meaning “vapours”. In mining, the vapours known as blackdamp or choke-damp will extinguish flames and miners.

The blend can go further, into a form that leaves no doubt about the water content. There are about a dozen of these out there. Must be a mix of “put a damper on”, “dampen”, and “throw cold water on”.

I think the preggo teen might throw a little damp water on their enthusiasm.
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#2 2011-08-08 06:50:39

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

Re: to throw damp water on

Delightful—I think we should give that one the forum’s “redundant tautology of the week” honors.



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