Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Here’s a first perp account from an eggcorn column in 2008:
I think your example eggcorn “hone in (home in)” should be reversed. “Hone” means to focus your attention on something, as in, honing in on a solution. “Home in” has become a more popular phrase, but I believe it is the eggcorn.
That coulda been me. I confess that I’m a honer. My mind rebels at the thought that this is an eggcorn and not the original idiom. Our own TootsNYC responded ““hone” means to sharpen or smooth; there is no sharpening or smoothing*in* on something. ” But working your way towards a solution requires you to discard alternatives. That is honing in as much as it is homing. Well, of course there’s no defense. I take comfort in the idea that “hone in on” is now mainstream.
No reason to stop there, though. If honing means refining and sharpening your focus, what does “horning” your skills mean? Reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where the bull is shown honing his horns on a grinder before the big showdown (what a nin-cow-poop! what a gulli-bull!). The suggestion for this one came from a student’s e-mail, though there are thousands of other hits out there.
it will be immense help for me to horn my research caliber
(from a student e-mail)
Today’s Wordy English: decorum, and horn your skills in writing, thinking. ... For native English speakers, college students, writers: when you give a definition of a word, you want to horn your skill such that your definition is precise and accurate, as if it is from a (non-abridged) dictionary.
He walked into a real crowd and started shootin’ just like the video game. His expertise finely horned, his effectiveness exemplary from the virtual training.
http://dailyreckoning.com/looking-past- … ic-future/
Her combination of blue chip law enforcement resume and finely-horned legal skills acquired from top notched universities in Nigeria, is the reason her choice is unassailable.
http://www.tribune.com.ng/sun/opinion/1 … l-deserved
Beware those finely horned skills!