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#1 2017-08-15 04:35:18

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 406

Spitting vile

I could hear my neighbour shouting and spitting vile at them

There are plenty more where that came from. The semantics are easy and the pronunciation is close enough.

It probably goes the other way but I can’t think of something to search for.


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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#2 2017-08-15 07:33:59

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

Re: Spitting vile

Maybe

In the climactic scene of the movie, the two priests conduct a ritual exorcism and Regan spews bile, epithets, and curses at them, assuming the image and tone …

but probably not, with that comma.
.
This one’s interesting:

publishers who in spewing out their bile attempt to convince people to cut and freeze benefits, penalize the disabled and the unemployed.

You can read it either way, though the more legitimate one is doubtless the one that would allow a comma between the two words (paired with one after who ), forcing attempt to be a verb instead of a noun.
.
Better:

Any of the numerous documentaries on youtube and netflix shows how they can spew bile opinions in public in our country and generally get …

I’m sure there are more out there.


*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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#3 2017-08-16 07:15:05

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 974

Re: Spitting vile

The semantics are easy and the pronunciation is close enough.

I’m not so sure about the pronunciation I’m afraid, and with v and b sitting side by side on the keyboard it looks more like a round-tripping slip of the finger to me.

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#4 2017-08-23 22:35:52

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

Re: Spitting vile

Are you saying that b and v are very strongly, unmistakably different in your dialect, Peter? I do distinguish them, but they are still very similar both in sound and in articulation. Bane and vein are much closer, for me, than, say, bane and rain, or bane and gain .

None of which makes your supposition of a fingerslip improbable. It comes down to the likelihood of that particular fingerslip happening enough times to explain away all the instances (one of the main reasons why multiple attestations are desirable).


*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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#5 2017-08-24 12:55:30

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 974

Re: Spitting vile

Are you saying that b and v are very strongly, unmistakably different in your dialect, Peter?

I can’t say I’ve ever given it any thought until right now, David, but I do feel they are more distinct than b/p for example, or t/d or c/g or f/v. In addition, the fact that one’s an adjective and the other a noun presents me with semantic difficulties which you and John seem to surmount. I’m happy to be wrong of course, which is no rare event given my garbling tongue and mangled ear.

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#6 2017-08-25 12:44:17

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

Re: Spitting vile

Under traditional English phonemic analysis, they share such features (depending on the inventory adopted) as [+labial], [+obstruent], [+voiced], differing along the stop-fricative dimension ([±continuant] or whatever) and secondarily along the bilabial-labiodental dimension (which for many analysts was considered mere allophonic detail, but may well contribute to your feeling that the difference is greater than, say, b/p .) It would be much the same difference as p/f ; does that fit your perceptions? Though there you have aspiration involved as well. The contrasts you cite are all voicing contrasts, whereas b/v maintains voicing parity. So perhaps voicing is generally less salient to you?
.
Whatever, I don’t doubt that your “feeling” is fairly widely shared, and don’t doubt that my contrasting feeling may come at least in part from working with languages (Spanish, Nawatl) where the sounds do not saliently contrast at all.


*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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#7 2017-08-26 12:18:17

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 974

Re: Spitting vile

Thanks for all that, David, clearly I must discipline myself into at least a faint delve into ‘traditional English phonemic analysis’. Probably a feint delve in my case, and who would I then be fooling? But I do find it genuinely interesting that, for me, voicing is generally less salient. Should this worry me I wonder, should I be taking remedial action and if so, what form should it take?
Perhaps my difficulty has something to do with moving back to Anglesey and having another crack at the Welsh language with its curious mutations which serve, in theory, to make speech easier but to the uninitiated serve only to stun, perplex and yet fascinate. A word beginning with c, for example, can become g, then ngh before ending up as ch. And the sequence seems to make some sort of sense in terms of the pattern of tiny adjustments of lips and tongue required, but I can’t quite grasp what is happening. Nothing new then.

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#8 2017-08-26 15:06:51

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

Re: Spitting vile

Peter Forster wrote:

I do find it genuinely interesting that, for me, voicing is generally less salient. Should this worry me I wonder…?

Not at all. Rather it is interesting data. That sort of thing (people finding one contrast less striking/important than another, perhaps one person differing from others on the matter) is crucial to phonological change. Otherwise (God forbid) we might have ended up with a single boring phonological system in all the world’s languages.


*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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#9 2017-08-28 03:35:41

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 406

Re: Spitting vile

I guess my prolonged contact with Spanish has led me to see the difference between b and v to be more negligible than it is. But I’ll stand by my assertion that this is an eggcorn, although I take the point about where b and v are on the keyboard. There are very few hits for “a leather best” and none for “vest friend” that is not a pun, so I think that even if the finger-slip does happen, perhaps the writer’s brain doesn’t trip set off its wrongness alarm so much with ‘bile’ and ‘vile’ as with more egregious confusions of b and v, like ‘best’ and ‘vest’.


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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