Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Thanks for your understanding.
Chris -- 2018-04-11
I wold guess it’s because he learned the word by reading it. On the radio this morning, I heard a man pronounce placate as if it were placket (to rhyme with jacket). At first, I didn’t even know what he had said, but the context made it clear.
“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin
Just heard somebody on TV saying someone had “metted out justice”, pronouncing mete like met rather than like meat . Of course it’s out there on the Internet:
How a community metted out justice on accused persons without a “primafasie”.
Watch the treatment metted out on female cadet at the NDA
the treatment metted out to me by the powers that be.
weighing equity out for them, in balances tolerably adjusted, where they themselves are not interested ; metting out integrity, propriety and moral rectitude for them, in measures of pretty good standard capacity,
The author of that last example (somebody named Alexander Watson, from 1821) probably (given the context) knew the word mete with the meaning “measure”. Most people nowadays do not. (The King James Version of Mat 7.2 was pretty widely known in those days: “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”. If the saying is known at all nowadays it is likely to be in another version.)
Eggcorning possibilities? I think there are some. What is meted out presumably meets (and has met) a proper standard, and thus it is meet that it be imposed.
In any case, this is something that people read and pretty much understand (they surely realize that meting or metting out punishment is giving it to the object, i.e. punishing him or her), but they mispronounce it in their minds and thus in speech. To that extent it belongs in this thread.
Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-03-19 11:57:57)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .