Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
or am i doing that thing where it actually is ‘on a role’ and i have being using ‘on a roll’ like some kind of numpty all these years?
It is definitely “on a roll”, and I have often seen “role” substituted in the role of “roll”, if you’ll pardon the expression.
“On a roll” implies having forward momentum, like a stone rolling downhill. An object in motion tends to remain in motion, and etc.
Having just made the mistake of submitting a simple misspelling myself, however, I wonder if there is reason to think that utterers of “on a role” actually think it means “playing a part”, or if they just can’t spell “roll”?
Day Vid wrote:
I wonder … if they just can’t spell “roll”?
I have learned never to underestimate the ability of writers to misspell simple words and to misunderstand simple sayings.
One person who enjoyed Eats, Shoots & Leaves so much that she bought me a copy later insisted that I change is supposed to back to “the way it should be”: is suppose to.
i received ‘on a role’ seconds before starting this the post you see, which is why i quickly threw it up here. I was chatting to a m8 on msn who, as soon as he said it, questioned if it was correct. His spelling is usually spot on.
Here’s the example I stumbled upon just last night:
Cooper was on a role. (from http://www.gay.net/vintage-hunk/2011/10 … ary-cooper )
Though it was in the context of an overview of Gary Cooper’s acting roles, it didn’t seem like an intentional pun to me. If it was one, it was a clumsy one in context. Eggcorn or mere misspelling? You be the judge.
Some kind of numpty? Age numpteen?
A variant: on a row. It appears to refer to being on a winning streak. So maybe it’s a blend with “in a row”.
I got a start when I noticed that this thread has over 10,000 hits (10063 at the moment). It’s one of only a dozen or so that exceed 5000. Some are the eggcorn classics like at 13327 today, but others, like this one, must reflect people looking for advice on correct usage. It would be fun to do an eggcornology post on the posts that attract the most interest.
more row << roll: “honor row” and “row call” may be related to the typical arrangement of desks in rows in classrooms or legislative chambers.
mom forum: “I am a very proud momma my boys made the honor row and got an award for not being absent this whole year ”
eBay profile: “He graduated with an associates degree on the Dean’s Honor Row. ”
The Destruction of LULAC “Elia never mounted a challenge for a vote by row call or a vote by council.”
In some cases the row may become literal:
News article: “The proposals that will begin this academic year include eliminating the honor row at commencement. That row was set aside especially for graduating students with a 3.5 grade point average or above.”
“Honor row” has strong eggcornish claims.
BTW, larrybob, many of us who hang around here have posted something slightly autobiographical at this thread: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/view … hp?id=1735 If the mood takes you, feel free to contribute.
One of my favorites is (uttered in a very discouraged voice) “it’s a hard roll to hold”. (Since it was spoken, it may well have been “role”.) Proper answer? “Yes, it’s been a downhill battle all day!”
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .