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#1 2014-02-04 09:20:33

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

sheath < (?) sheaf

One of the ones noted by Paul Brians and Joe K .php?id=1262. I’ve often seen it, but just ran across it again. Assuming that a short stack of paper curled into a cylinder and held in the middle so that the ends can splay out slightly was first called a sheaf from its similarity to a sheaf of wheat, I can also see how eggcorners, especially those for whom a sheaf is no longer very familiar, would also see a shape similarity to a sheath , even though there is no analogue to a knife or sword to be stored in it. Or do people think of a pen placed there? Yet in some usages it seems to mean “stack” and not be rolled up at all.

He seized a sheath of paper next to the patient’s bedside and rolled it into a cylinder, placed one end to his ear and the other to the patient’s chest

As the markets collapsed, one man decided to save Britain with a sheath of paper and some pens, that man was Colin Nugent.

If a sheath of paper might prevent you from getting at the jammed paper, then remove that too. 4. Most consumer printers have an access door


*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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#2 2014-02-05 02:18:43

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1184

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Today standard sheaves of paper do come sheathed in sheathes, or in sleeves, so I think this one might be a nice eggcorn.

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#3 2014-02-05 21:20:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2145

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

“Sheath of paper” for “sheaf of paper” is dirt common. There are several writing sites that mention this error. As David B says, it may have eggcorn qualities in the way sheaves of paper are sold.

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#4 2014-02-06 01:03:13

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 946

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

For the record, I always thought the hymn said “bringing in the sheeps” instead of bringing in the sheathes. :)
http://humblemusings.com/?p=468

Wheat does grow by successive sheathes, so this one makes sense too.

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#5 2014-02-07 14:43:23

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Wheat does grow by successive sheathes

What do you mean? Each stalk grows by extruding a central “sword” which later becomes a sheath for the next sword?


*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 2014-02-07 15:57:06

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 946

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Very well put. Now that I think of it, however, the anatomy doesn’t seem likely as a source of sheathes of wheat.

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#7 2014-02-07 23:47:29

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Can any of you standardly call an unrolled stack of paper a sheaf of paper? (I can’t. The roll doesn’t have to be a full 360°, though. Over 180° works best.)


*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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#8 2014-02-08 01:29:29

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2145

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

By paper industry standards, a sheaf is 24 sheets of paper: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-paper-ream.htm
It sold as flat, not rolled.

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#9 2014-02-08 14:36:29

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

OK. … I never knew that. Sheaf = quire. I wonder why it was ever called a sheaf? Merriam-Webster gives a looser definition for general usage, and suggests a (visual I suppose) similarity to a sheaf of grain:

something resembling a sheaf of grain <a sheaf of papers>

I don’t see where a flat stack of paper (24 sheets or otherwise) particularly resembles a sheaf of grain.
.
[The quire came from Latin quaterni , I learn. It was originally a sheet of paper folded in four. I guess to get 24 sheets you would fold a stack of six in four and then cut it? I remember quires as being the pamphlet-thick apparently once-folded stacks that would be sewn side-by-side to the backing to form a larger book. But sometimes they would be sloppily folded and/or cut, so the leaves (on the side opposite the stitching, or sometimes on top or bottom) were still stuck together: obviously they had been folded for cutting from a single large sheet.]n
.
Later: My wife, my son and my daughter all agreed that for them also a sheaf of paper does not need to be folded or rolled. My son’s explanation was that for him it is called a sheaf because like the wheat it is gathered until a comfortably manageable and handleable amount has been collected. I wonder how many others have thought about it the way I did. A sheaf of grain I think of as needing both arms to carry, whereas a sheaf of paper would usually be carried in one hand.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2014-02-08 16:15:03)


*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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#10 2014-02-13 00:02:02

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

DavidTuggy wrote:

...I can also see how eggcorners…

Ha! I’m so used to seeing “eggcornistas” and so unused to “eggcorners” that, for a few seconds, I got an odd image that prompted me to exclaim (mentally, anyway) “Wait a minute—eggs don’t have corners!”

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#11 2014-02-13 02:39:31

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1773
Website

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Dixon Wragg wrote:

Wait a minute—eggs don’t have corners

Yes, it’s lovelily self-contradictory in that way.
.
I tend to think of eggcornistas as those who analyze eggcorns rather than those who commit them. I’m not sure what words we have used for the latter group —other than “perps”— in the past: this one came to mind as I was writing.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2014-02-13 02:47:47)


*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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#12 2014-03-22 00:52:01

Eoin
Member
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 11

Re: sheath < (?) sheaf

Dixon Wragg wrote:

Ha I’m so used to seeing “eggcornistas” and so unused to “eggcorners” that, for a few seconds, I got an odd image that prompted me to exclaim (mentally, anyway) “Wait a minute—eggs don’t have corners”

You’ve obviously never seen an egg cuber! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrcpUZXb280

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