Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
This evening I stumbled upon an illustration of a sedan chair—a passenger conveyance consisting of a seat on two long poles which are carried by a couple of people. I recalled hearing, in my youth, people using the term “Sudan chair”, and wondered if we have an eggcorn here. A bit of research determined that there is apparently a type of living-room furniture actually called a Sudan chair, but I also found a number of substitutions of “Sudan chair” for “sedan chair”, such as:
I’ve read a lot of books on Everest and other mountains , if you can get there and back you were hard core, no one gets carried on a Sudan chair.
http://forums.ski.com.au/xf/threads/eve … 933/page-3
BTW my favorite R&T April road test was the sudan chair…. Twin Turbo Lackies
http://cd.textfiles.com/spaceandast/TEX … 6NO361.TXT
His back is reflected in a mirror framed by the top of an ancient Sudan chair.
And when in doubt, sucker some big, strong handsome fighters to tote you around in a sudan chair.
I think “Sudan chair”, when substituted for “sedan chair”, could be an eggcorn, even though there’s also such a thing as a Sudan chair. It seems to me that since a sedan chair is a very exotic thing to most English speakers and the Sudan is likewise an exotic location to most of us, an eggcornish meaning connection could easily be predicated on the assumption (however unconscious) that the sort of chair in question originated in the Sudan.
A good DNA eggcorn—the switch is made on the basis of a semantic overlap that is not part of the core meaning. Sedan chairs are thought of as indulgent and exotic. Sudan reminds the user of the numinous world of sand and Araby.