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#1 2017-04-08 13:12:33

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2092
Website

You guys are couple goals!

A facebook message responding to my daughter’s wedding video:

I cried !!!! You guys are couple goals!

Cups of gold (?) A golden couple (?) A pair of goals (?) Or what?


*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 2017-04-12 12:47:46

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2546

Re: You guys are couple goals!

No idea what the person meant. But I suspect that your correspondent has slipped into the substandard use of “couple” as an adjective rather than a noun—the usage we see in phrases such as “he did if for a couple years,” “I have a couple eggcorns for you.”

I ran some ngrams on the adjectival use of “couple” with units of time. The adjectival use seem to slot in at 8% of the nominal uses in printed sources. You can bet a couple bucks that the adjectival usage, the one without the “of,” is even more frequent in spoken English.

Dictionaries, if they even mention the adjectival usage, tend to write it off as an Americanism, but it seems to be a worldwide phenomenon, especially when units of time are in play. The ngram trick of separating British sources from American sources suggests that Brit usage of the adjective “couple” is only at 3% of the nominal usage, while AmEng print usage is at 10%. North American use of the adjective leaped during WWII and again in the 1990s. British employment of the “couple” adjective is only a couple of decades (“a couple decades?”) old.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#3 2017-04-12 14:30:17

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2092
Website

Re: You guys are couple goals!

In careful(er) speech I (and I think at least some others around me) say “coupla”. If I say “Wait a couple of hours” in anything but a pretty formal context, I will usually say “Wait a cuplaáwers,” for instance, not “a cuppuláwers” (much less “cuppláwers”). It feels like what’s happening is that the “of” gets reduced to “a” (i.e. [ə]). From there it’s an easy step on out the 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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#4 2017-04-15 01:51:54

JChance
Member
Registered: 2015-07-08
Posts: 11

Re: You guys are couple goals!

I don’t have any particular insight on “a couple X”, but I always used it in free variation with “a couple of X”. (mother from New York, father from North Carolina, in case it matters)

As far as the expression that started this off, “X goals” has been used interjectively to mean “I wish/hope for an X this good” extensively for a year or two. Straightforward, not a reshaping, but rather snowclonish. It seems to have begun in Twitter/Facebook/blog tags, and for some reason I want to say that the original was “fitness/body goals” in company with a picture of someone in good shape, but those “some reasons” are rarely definitive or even accurate. The form that has had the most memetic legs seems to be “squad goals”, using “squad” in the sense of either an entourage or a close friend group.

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#5 2017-04-15 14:42:48

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2092
Website

Re: You guys are couple goals!

OK, so maybe “you guys embody the ideal goals for couples to aspire to”, or something like that? That would make sense. I don’t remember running across that meme, but I don’t twit.


*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 2017-05-12 11:47:04

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2092
Website

Re: You guys are couple goals!

From the Urban Dictionary

Couple Goals A perfect couple. Things that a couple do, or the way they work, that others admire and aspire to achieve. Ruby and Harrison are couple goals. They are so cute and work so well together!
by Banksy512 October 27, 2016

(Nails it pretty clearly. The UD has several other entries in the “x goals” department. I’ve learned something.)


*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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