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#1 2009-08-04 15:19:42

CatherineR
Member
Registered: 2006-08-09
Posts: 44

"Tone death" for "tone deaf"

This one appears on a Facebook quiz called “Who watches you at night?” The result “Hannah Montana” reads in part: “You may love singing but you have a tone death voice.”

I think the confusion is obvious here; the writer imagines a voice that kills tone, rather than an ear that can’t hear it.

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#2 2009-08-04 17:29:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2162

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

An excellent eggcorn.

“Tone death” was noted in passing in 2005, in the 50th comment to the old forum: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/contribute/ , but the poster did not explain, as you did, why it was an eggcorn, and the phrase did not make it into the database. Thank you for reminding us of this jewel.

“Tone death” is amazingly common. I found hundreds of examples by looking up in Google ”[linking verb] tone death”. Makes one wonder if the substitution of “death” for “deaf” is standard for some speakers. A couple of years ago Peter noted on this forum “turn a death ear” (http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/view … hp?id=2316) , which has dozens of unique exemplars on the web. As does “fall on death ears.” There are even a few examples out there of “death as a post” and “death and dumb.”

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#3 2009-08-13 02:10:57

Dr dave the hat
Member
Registered: 2009-08-13
Posts: 7

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

Taking this “th/f” confusion in the opposite direction, there are many fine examples of “deftifying” feats and stunts on the ‘web… What is going through someone’s head to cause them to create such a monstrous word?

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#4 2009-08-13 02:47:58

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

That’s not monstrous—it’s spectacular. One of my favorite finds in a long time. The question will be just how much the idea of deftness is implicated in being “death-defying”—but I think this will most deftinitely work in some contexts. (And welcome to the forum, Dr. Dave.)

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#5 2009-08-13 04:41:46

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

DDTH—I don’t know whether you have either the time or the interest, but this is such an interesting reshaping that it’d be great to see it get its own separate post—it’s kind of buried in this thread.

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#6 2009-08-14 20:25:32

fpberger
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 130

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

I agree that deftifying needs its own analysis, but I think “Deafly ill” probably qualifies as just a th/f substitution issue in the other direction. I don’t see any sign in the examples I’ve perused that the illness has to do with hearing loss…

“It was 1976 and I was just a kid then but I remember getting the shot and getting deafly ill from it.”
http://talk.baltimoresun.com/showthread.php?t=196190

“At the end he became deafly ill. He would either die or be a vegetable all his life.”
http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunM … 040502.htm

“I get deafly ill with one glass of wine, my body just can’t take it.”
http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=240623

An exception is this one, where the “deafly” part of the phrase makes some sense but “ill” does not…

“Aubrem instantly realizes that this castle is not empty at all as all the noises suddenly stopped, everything fell deafly ill. It was completely quiet with a intense feeling welling up in the stomache of the young boy as he looks around.”
http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/soul … 047&page=5

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#7 2013-04-20 20:41:32

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1204

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

A cute first person story:

When I was a kid, I was scared shitless of people who couldn’t hear because I thought they were death. Irony of all ironies, I overheard my mother talking with my otolaryngologist one day after a routine check up with him (I had tons of ear problems when I was a kid) and he said that I already had significant hearing loss.
So naturally…
When mom took me to McDonald’s after that appointment, and I was playing on the playground with the other, older kids who were there, none of whom I knew, I told them not to mess with me because I was gonna be death soon.
Eggcorn thread

See also a death ear.

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#8 2013-04-20 23:49:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1796
Website

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

Just saw the totally awesome deftifying on this thread. Seriously, for me that is in a league with a nominal egg , which is pretty high-class company.

Checked it out online, and found this interesting development:

A huge Thanks to all at Les Ardents Festival on Thursday…It was a death deftifying blast !! Love and Fuzz

(This and all the other hits on death deftifying all seem to be quoting one source, so it’s a kind of googlenonce. But anyway. The picture of deftly deftifying death [evading it?] is attractive.)

If it had been a literal blast, I would suspect deafening to be active in the mix, but with a figurative blast it seems less likely.

Related:

be pretty hard pressed to find an LwL fan that isn’t impressed with Re’Mer’s skills in the Circled Circle.
Re’mer Deftifies the Heights and Lives for the Moment.

This was a g-nonce as well, and I didn’t find other convincing examples from (back-formed) deftify or deftified .

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-04-21 00:04:53)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#9 2013-04-22 01:02:33

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1204

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

Some of the leads and intermediate forms suggested above, though they don’t make it to the level of deftifying.

The noise was deathening

He orchestrates cries from his muffled mouth
With deft defying deeds of his learned feet
Poem

The sound was deafifying as the third bolt flew out of the circle like a eagle chassing its pray that was trying to get away moving as fast as it could.
fanfic

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#10 2013-04-22 15:54:04

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1796
Website

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

New find (what poetry, btw):

like takin a piss I won’t miss cuz this shit’s my only bliss, I can testify life’s a deadly stunt and
inspirational death I’ll deftify!

I like those deft defying feets, Tocayo.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#11 2013-05-25 04:45:59

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1796
Website

Re: "Tone death" for "tone deaf"

A correspondent writes:

From a friend’s wall: We were trying to explain to Ephram that he wasn’t tone deaf and could sing well. He said,”What am I then, tone life?”


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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