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#1 2013-10-12 18:21:56

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 759

"toed the line" for "straddled the line"

From a description of a documentary film in a recent movie theater schedule:

This film chronicles the three-year existence of this mysterious group that toed the line between religious cult, art piece and elaborate game…

Clearly they meant “straddled the line”. I can see how there may be an eggcornish meaning-connection, as, whether you’re toeing the line or straddling it, you’re still right there at the line, but of course there can be no sound-confusion between “toed” and “straddled”, so this may not qualify as an eggcorn. Or does it?

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#2 2013-10-12 20:35:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2248

Re: "toed the line" for "straddled the line"

Not an eggcorn. A meaning misunderstanding, perhaps (malapropism).

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#3 2013-10-12 22:18:51

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 759

Re: "toed the line" for "straddled the line"

kem wrote:

Not an eggcorn. A meaning misunderstanding, perhaps (malapropism).

Okay. And that would be because “toed” doesn’t sound anything like “straddled”, right?

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#4 2013-10-13 01:27:59

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2248

Re: "toed the line" for "straddled the line"

Right.

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#5 2013-10-13 10:07:00

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 1838
Website

Re: "toed the line" for "straddled the line"

As Dixon documented in another post today, people have taken toe the line to mean “lay your toe across the line (typically as a challenge to authority)”, and used it accordingly. I suspect this is not just a few people, and I am sure that it has been going on for years. This example would be an extension from that now-established meaning: you already have part of a foot on each side of the line, so if you just drop or downplay the notion of challenging authority, you have it.


*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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#6 2013-12-28 19:40:16

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2248

Re: "toed the line" for "straddled the line"

Came across this thread while indexing the 2013 eggcorn candidates. “Toed the line” in the sense of “straddled the line,” while not a regular eggcorn, could be a hidden eggcorn. A reimaging that leaves no trace in the sound or spelling.

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