Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
Because everyone knows “curry” is a noun, not a verb.
“Carry favor” gets some false positives, but “carry favor with” gets 456 Google hits, and “carry favour with” 821, which look pretty genuine.
We’ve had a couple o posts on “curry flavor:”
This is the first mention, I think, of “carry favor.” Seems like it might be an eggcorn.
I can’t find it listed as a standard variant in any dictionary, but people have been making
this particular reshaping for a while.
Here it is in a 1799 book at Google Books.
This 1912 New York Times article uses it, oddly enough, in a story about horse-racing.
I would have thought the word “curry” would be better known in that context.
Finally, here’s another Google Books one, from a 2003 book.
So it’s made its way into print a number of times, and I guess some copyeditors see nothing wrong with it.
“Courage favor” for “curry favor” may also be possible. I can’t find an example on the web, though, that isn’t in a transcript. The expanded “encourage favour,” however, does serve as an occasional replacement for “curry favor.”
: “I can’t start living my life for the media or to encourage favor with everybody.”
: “You may build a large army and encourage favor with the generals by paying them well (perhaps even the occasional bri…err… bonus).”
: “ I have transcended the need for wealth and power by donating my savings to the Mahariji’s trust and don’t feel the need to encourage favour with my superiors.”