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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2012-08-25 07:21:27

Dixon Wragg
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 715

"reports" for "purports"

I received this tonight in a Facebook message from a friend: “Could you check the email address it reports to be from?”

Googling “it reports to be” yields an estimate of at least 75 eggcornish examples, such as:

This oil is everything it reports to be.

A musical of immense charm and considerable style, High Society is, as it reports to be, topflight entertainment.

This book is not what it reports to be.

I really don’t think they should be charging extra for something that is half the size of what it reports to be.

It looks to me like both the meaning connection and the sound similarity are present. It’s an eggcorn, no?



#2 2012-08-26 10:34:57

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1251

Re: "reports" for "purports"

Yes, I think it’s ovoid, though it’s got a strong dose of malaprop. Purports and reports are more difficult to distinguish as past participles: “it is purported to be” and “it is reported to be”. In this form it would be easy to blend with “it is reputed to be”.

VW is purputed to be considering a plant in North America. … 994fa/5362

Please don’t tell me we’re going to be stuck with a hip, ed[g]y version of Lex that purputes to be very smart and clever and scary … te-batman/

In perusing the etymology of these words I was surprised to learn that “proports” is an accepted variant of “purports”. No purportions or reportionate allowed, though, since the root port in this bunch is conveying two distinct meanings: carry and part. It makes you wonder whether proport was born of an eggcorn too.

Last edited by David Bird (2012-08-26 10:53:37)



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