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#1 2014-02-02 08:31:15

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

evasive << >> elusive

The other day I stumbled on this somewhere:

If truth is evasive than God is not the God that I know.

That inspired me to investigate substitutions of “evasive” for “elusive” and vice versa. An Internet search yielded examples of each, such as:

I am not a cockeyed optimist who believes that we can sort this one out easily. Truth is evasive.
blog

We say that true truth is evasive, but not so much when it comes to virtue.
another blog

For Bartlett, the truth is evasive and only partially attainable: the facts don’t always add up, the narrator’s judgements often conflict, the lines between fantasy and reality are constantly blurred…
book review

Don’t be elusive – ...I’ve always been honest about my intentions…they can’t accuse me of being sneaky or underhanded…
blog again

Can being elusive about where you went to school make people think you went somewhere top-tier?
Q & A site

You are being elusive about the truth sir.
discussion thread

The meaning similarity seems apparent to me, while there is enough difference that the words aren’t synonymous. The only question in my mind is whether they are pronounced similarly enough that we can call this an eggcorn (in both directions), or have to relegate this reciprocal substitution to the realm of “mere” malaprops.

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