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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2012-10-20 22:17:02

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 762

"disburse" for "disperse"

There has been a little discussion of “disperse” for “disburse” on Eggcorn Forum before, but I don’t think the reverse has been mentioned yet. Maybe it’s less common?

From “Obliterating Animal Carcasses with Explosives”, published by the USDA Forest Service Technology & Development Program: “Most large animal carcasses can be adequately disbursed with 20 pounds (9 kilograms) explosives.” I don’t think this particular instance is an eggcorn though, because in this context dispersion cannot be mistaken for, nor synonymous with, disbursement. I think it’s just a misspelling connected with the writer’s vague knowledge that the word “disbursed” exists without a clear understanding of its meaning. This substitution is really strange when you realize it’s in an article in which the words “disperse” and “dispersion” are also used properly (and spelled right)! The article is attributed to two writers; maybe one wrote the parts wherein those words were used correctly and the other wrote the “disbursed” part?

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