Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
A sylph is a slender graceful woman, so this substitution may just be an eggcornish way of blaming women for venereal disease. Examples:
I’m not sure Of The statistics nowadays, but for a long time Baltimore was tops
In sylphilis and teen pregnancies.
Okay, some spontaneity is lost but it is nothing compared to getting herpes,
sylphilis, the clap, genital warts, or HIV.
Arsenic 11. This compound was shown in 1910 to be extraordinarily effective against sylphilis, which is bacterial, and some other infectious diseases such as yaws …
... a shame they have left us now, they’ll be missed, just like the plague, Hitler, that rash I had last week and and the sylphilis I had the week before!
This is a typical example of a potential eggcorn that leaves me skeptical. There are two reasons for this:
So yes, for people who know what a sylph is, the variant spelling is worth a chuckle. But were the “sylphilis” users actually aware of the sense of sylph?