Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Adding extra days and months in order to make a calendar conform to position of the earth in its orbit around the sun has been called “intercalation” since at least the seventeenth century. We can see in the verb “intercalate” the Latin prefix for “between” and the Latin stem that gave birth to “calends” and “calendar.”
In the nineteenth century the word was metaphorically extended to the act of embedding in a standard series. Geologists became fond of the word, lacing their language with talk of “intercalated strata.” The word appealed to mathematicians who needed to insert numbers into an ordered set. Biologists turned to “intercalate” to lend a soupçon of opaque sagacity to their prose. These metaphorical uses of “intercalate/intercalated” in modern corpora far outnumber the literal uses of the word.
“Intercalate” is popularly (hundreds of web examples) spelled as “intercalcate.” I assume users are trying to find a reference to calculation in the word.
Three of the web examples:
: “.The Shahenshahi and Kadmi variants of the calendar do not intercalcate leap years”
: “These are natural cancer chemotherapy agents with a flat structure that directly bind or intercalcate between DNA base pairs, preventing _ and causing DNA strand breaks”
: “...often you intercalcate your poems with various languages”
Last edited by kem (2012-01-26 22:17:18)
An unfamiliar acorn for me. Here’s a variant easily construed if the word is learned by ear rather than eye:
We inter collate the calendar by adding extra month 7 times in 19 years.
The study involved naturally infected F344 rats that were allotted to groups to intercollate the investigation of several variables, including nonimmunosuppressed …An unfamiliar
I was just about to add a post on “intercollate/intercolate.” Great minds think alike (As do small minds. Sometimes great minds also think like small minds and small minds think like great minds. Parallel ponderings prove nothing but parallelism, I fear.)
intercolate could also be a blend of intercalate and interpolate. I’ve got only this nonce to add, which looks to be a blend of intercalate and inculcate.
From there it’s a short hop to: