Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
An in-law relation said three times last night that a particular wedding was going to be streamlined so that we could watch it over the internet today. It strikes me as half malapropism (she isn’t highly computer-savvy or up on computing terminology), half blend (of streaming with online and perhaps down/up-loading ), with maybe some contraction (of streaming it online ) and some eggcornishness going on (she probably does have an idea of a stream of data coming down the line) and certainly forgetfulness of the older meanings of streamline (which I hear nowadays almost exclusively in the erstwhile metaphorical sense of “make a process efficient” rather than the older meaning “shape an object so it will move efficiently through a fluid”).
Three repetitions indicates some kind of standardization going on (or already having gone on), but if I called her attention to it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the lady would manifest uncertainty about her choice of words, or even judge herself to have made a mistake.
Any of the rest of you run across this one? I poked around and found some exx. where either meaning might be understood. E.g.
Streamlining Delivery of Popular Content. Stanislav Rost.[…] delivered over the Internet. Today, through the use of various proactive …
The author probably meant “improving the efficiency of the delivery of popular content”, whereas a reader might well understand “effecting delivery of popular content over the Internet”.
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
Good eye for the self-referential, as always. I looked around but couldn’t find any other streamlined online streaming. Your extended family perp must be a ground-zero original.