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#1 2017-06-15 17:55:38

danRO
Member
Registered: 2017-06-15
Posts: 2

Death Rows for Death Throes

In context: “Yes, a failed star is orbiting a star in its death rows, but its important to remember they were not always this way.” From https://www.universetoday.com/136053/ki … ad-star-1/

“in its death rows” has a few thousand ghits, many of which are this usage, so it is not new.

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#2 2017-06-16 20:52:22

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1505

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

Very nice eggcorn. I assume that being in its death rows is like being on death row. I found about 12 hits for it in the form “in its death rows”, which is a respectable tally these days.

The return-tripper is out there too. This one is a bit harder to explain, since it doesn’t follow the usual route from obscure to common word, but it still makes some sense.

Kutubkhali canal on death throe
News headline

Ethiopians are on death throe because of famine, not just one time, every year and now worse even.
News commentary

See also the painful death throws.

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#3 2017-06-17 08:46:19

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 140

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

David, the other direction doesn’t make much sense, since “row” is a much more common word than “throe”. I’m guessing that this is a kind of hypercorrection, and people who have been exposed to the term “death throes”, but don’t know its meaning, try to look like they know what they’re saying.


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#4 2017-06-20 18:02:44

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2536

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

We seem to be on a run of reanalysis eggcorns, eggcorns where part of one word is absorbed into another. Some classics:


all goes well (augur’s well)
see and eye dog
Mr. Griver Bridge (Mystic River Bridge),
safety posit box
mistake in identity
sick entire
bye or leave
pain-staking
hearth rob
once so ever (whatsoever)
last draw (last straw)
hardened fast rule

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#5 2017-06-21 03:14:31

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1173

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

kem wrote:

all goes well (augur’s well)

You’re not kem. What have you done with kem? The real kem would never use an unnecessary apostrophe.

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#6 2017-06-24 18:57:29

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2536

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

You’re not kem. What have you done with kem?

Bwahahahaha. It will cost you a hundred bitcoins to get him back.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#7 2017-06-25 02:38:47

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1173

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

BTW, danRO, welcome to the Eggcorn Forum!

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#8 2017-06-28 08:23:35

danRO
Member
Registered: 2017-06-15
Posts: 2

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

Thanks for the welcome!

How in general do you count occurrences? The search for “in its death rows” (with the quotes in the search term) says at the top “Page # of about 3,290 results”. But there are only 32 actually listed, and David called it 12 after manually eliminating the duplicates.

Is there any meaning to that initial number of 3290?

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#9 2017-06-28 12:09:30

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2071
Website

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

Good question. I also would appreciate a clear answer which is also understandable to this bear of small brain. (I realize those may well be incompatible aims.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-06-28 13:28:53)


*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 2017-06-28 12:37:07

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2071
Website

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

Bruce (yanogator) wrote:

David, the other direction doesn’t make much sense, since “row” is a much more common word than “throe”. I’m guessing that this is a kind of hypercorrection, and people who have been exposed to the term “death throes”, but don’t know its meaning, try to look like they know what they’re saying.

(He was addressing the other David, but anyway…)
.
I think the maxim “(real) eggcorns (always) go from the lesser known to the more common form” is probably statistically sustainable, but not very good as a criterion for eggcornhood. Presumably any kind of restructuring will tend to result in what is familiar being given high prominence (since when we restructure we like things to easily make sense), but that doesn’t mean restructurings simply cannot go in the other way, and if the less-common form makes reasonable sense, that may be enough. In this case, row is obviously more familiar to most of us than throe is, but many of us do know death throes , and probably many of you have an image something like I do, of a person writhing in agony (hence death throws , if you like) with final expiration immediately threatening.
.
It may even be, if you take the noun-phrases as wholes rather than just the nouns in isolation, that death throes is as familiar to some of us as death row is.
.
Unless you have death row very much more strongly entrenched in your mind than death throe(s) , it seems reasonable that you might think of Ethiopians facing starvation, or a project such as the Kutubkhali canal facing extinction/disappearance, as like a dying person undergoing a final, likely itself fatal contortion or paroxysm of some sort. To think of them as criminals sitting on death row —perhaps waiting out years of appeals and stays of execution, eventually but not necessarily imminently slated for death— is not necessarily an improvement. So the restructuring makes plenty of sense.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-06-28 13:39:38)


*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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#11 2017-06-30 08:27:13

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2536

Re: Death Rows for Death Throes

Is there any meaning to that initial number of 3290?

Almost none. In the early days of the forum, we attempted analyse these raw hit numbers, but it became increasingly obvious that we were (mostly) spinning our wheels. The problem is that we have no access to the algorithms that the search engines use to come up with these raw hit numbers. The Google numbers can only be used in the crudest, ratio-oriented way.

A couple of earlier discussions are here and here.

An elephant-in-the-room fact often overlooked by Google users (it’s not a secret, but it’s buried in the fine print) is that Google only fetches, at max, a thousand examples of the hits it finds, no matter how common the search target. And that duplicates are eliminated AFTER the thousand are collected.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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