Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I first noticed this in the phrase “I feel like I’ve reached a Plato in my spiritual growth” (http://www.ayahuasca.com/news/udv-churc … mment-8451). It looks like this is a reasonably common misspelling, but the capitalization caught my eye. It looks so…purposeful.
On reflection, the capitalization was probably auto-corrected, but Chrome at least does offer “plateau” before “Plato” for “plato”. Hmm…
I also wonder what the rationalization for “Plato” would be. I’ve reached a level? An advanced but still mortal level? I don’t know. At least one joker out there indicates I might be on to something when they tweet “I think I may have reached a Plato but I will carry on Kierkegaardless.”
Anyway, maybe an eggcorn, maybe not. What do you all think?
Pretty amusing. My scant knowledge of Plato doesn’t provide any logical connection either, unfortunately. I see what you mean, though: it’s an amazingly common substitution, especially in the netherworld of weight loss, where plate-o would make more sense. Other than autocorrect errors, when it is capitalized, I suspect that it is one of those cases where the users believe that a “Plato” has some arcane connection to some ancient guy named Plato, but would be unable to make the link explicit. In the absence of any obvious philosophical tie-in, I would classify it as a cute , wherein the perps believe they are appealing to a historical figure, on some plane, without quite knowing what the connection is.
Sober second thought: the phonetics are just not right for this one. It must have started as a spelling error and then been hit with autocorrect.
Last edited by burred (2013-12-31 15:38:48)
Re Sober Second Thoughts: For how many people nowadays is Plato just a very rarely encountered written word, which they have never (knowingly) heard pronounced? Modern education too often avoids mentioning, much less dwelling on, such arcane, obsolete, and (often enough) political inconvenient personages. With phonics also gone by the wayside, there is no reason why Plato should not be pronounced Platto.
(Not in any way to deny the likelihood that often it is a misspelling compounded by the spellchecker. I would think most malapropisms arose thus if I didn’t have ample evidence from non-written and from pre-silicistic sources of the same sorts of things happening.)
Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-12-31 19:16:47)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
‘Struth. In Saumur he is Platon, which is but a soupçon away from Platto. Speaking of educational arcana, I recall a member of the Monty Python bunch explaining that writing ditties like “Decomposing Composers” and “Bruce’s Philosophers Song” was the only thing that a Cambridge degree prepared you for.