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#1 2016-12-05 03:07:31

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1197

A heavy lodestone/loadstone

Then she has Bill — a heavy lodestone around her neck.
screed

That’s a heavy lodestone to bear…
game nerd discussion

“This is Eve, I have created her from your flesh, that she shall be as a heavy lodestone unto you, and her folly shall preoccupy you all the days of your life.”
discussion

This debt weighted upon him like a heavy lodestone.
opinion & comment

...spiritual burdens of 300 years of slavery and a 100 years of state sponsored segregation and terrorism against black folks in United States still hangs as a heavy lodestone around the weight of the collective black psyche.
blog

The weight of his guilt bore down on him, a heavy lodestone around his neck
Star Wars discussion

A lodestone is a magnet. But some folks apparently interpret “lode” as denoting heaviness, as in “a heavy load”. The phrase “a millstone around (one’s) neck” may contribute to some of these, too.

And here are a few examples of the alternate spelling:

...the only thing I feel we mustn’t do is to hang a heavy loadstone on the neck of the Center in such a way that it can’t swim unless it has a supersized life preserver.
discussion

It must be a heavy loadstone around Mattie’s neck, holding the sole evidence that the dead body downstairs was murdered
tweet

The shame and burden of being a survivor is a heavy loadstone, my friends.
essay

I feel it in my bones and they tingle, it’s like a heavy loadstone pressed over my heart.
fiction

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#2 2016-12-05 11:53:24

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 152

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

I think “millstone” contributed to most, or possibly all of them.


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

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#3 2016-12-05 12:23:57

Wordsmyth
Member
Registered: 2016-10-23
Posts: 27

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

The adjective “heavy” in all of the usage examples is redundant. I concur with yanogater that the correct term would be “millstone” without any adjective preceding it.

Last edited by Wordsmyth (2016-12-05 12:27:35)

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#4 2016-12-05 17:54:39

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1197

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

Wordsmyth wrote:

The adjective “heavy” in all of the usage examples is redundant.

“Heavy” is in all the examples because I searched on the term “a heavy lodestone” in order to screen out the more proper uses of the term “lodestone”. I think it’s safe to say that there are also some folks using “lodestone” in this eggcornish sense without the “heavy”.

I concur with yanogater that the correct term would be “millstone” without any adjective preceding it.

There’s no guarantee that the “millstone” phrase is behind every single use of this eggcorn. The heaviness of stone in general and the lode/load confusion are sufficient to explain the substitution, IMHO.

Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2016-12-09 05:07:53)

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#5 2016-12-05 21:06:39

Wordsmyth
Member
Registered: 2016-10-23
Posts: 27

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

Ah, I understand more clearly your intent in using “heavy” in your search.

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#6 2016-12-06 03:52:44

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 414

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

And of of course ‘motherload’ for ‘mother-lode’, which was spotted way back:

http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/531/motherload/

I should think that lode/load has been catching the unwary for centuries.


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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#7 2016-12-07 13:38:18

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

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

I agree. This must a blend, a blidiom, of “load” and “millstone.” It is eggcornically interesting because it just happens to make a word (“loadstone/lodestone”) that already has another meaning.

What interests me most in this discussion is the point that Dixon made at the head of the thread—that “lodestone” has taken on a meaning that is not in the dictionaries. Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, in their book about Google ngram ( Unchained ), call this stuff “lexical dark matter.” A nice analogy—just as dark matter, though accounting for most of the mass in the universe, can’t be observed because it does not interact strongly enough with the electromagnetic spectrum, a good portion of the semantic component of our language remains outside of dictionaries. We tend not to notice it, except when folk meanings surface that haven’t been itemized in the lexicon. Not even the people at the Urban Dictionary, the Unitarians of lexicography, have noticed that “loadstone” has taken on one of the meanings of “millstone.”

It’s also worth noting that “lodestone” (=heavy load) and “lodestone” (=wayfinder) are in some ways opposites—one helps you on your way, the other hinders. In this respect, “lodestone” is a bit like “spendthrift,” which we discussed in an earlier year: lexicographer have yet to notice that many English speakers use “spendthrift” in the sense of “miserly” and not in the canonical (and opposed) sense of “lavish outlay.”

Last edited by kem (2016-12-09 14:08:02)


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#8 2016-12-09 05:16:14

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1197

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

kem wrote:

This must a blend, a blidiom, of “load” and “millstone.”

Not wanting to be redundant, but as I mentioned in post #4 of this thread, I think that inferring some involvement of “millstone” in every example of this substitution is going too far. As I said: “The heaviness of stone in general and the lode/load confusion are sufficient to explain the substitution, IMHO.” Having said that, I would agree that “millstone” likely has some involvement, however unconscious, in most examples of this substitution.

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#9 2016-12-09 12:09:33

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 152

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

But if not from millstone, why would they bring stone into it at all?


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

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#10 2016-12-10 19:32:57

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1197

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

yanogator wrote:

But if not from millstone, why would they bring stone into it at all?

Because stones are common, associated with heaviness and burdensomeness, and have been around long enough to have been universally recognized as such (cf. Sisyphus) long before the first recorded use of the image of a millstone around one’s neck in Matthew xviii.6. And there is at least one other famous example of someone’s being burdened by something hung around their neck—an albatross—so the notion of burdening someone by hanging something around their neck is not specific to millstones.

Of course, the instances of the eggcornish “lodestone/loadstone” wherein hanging around the neck is specified are nearly cerrtain to have derived from “millstone”, but that is less likely to be true in those usages containing no reference to the neck, as in ”...a heavy lodestone to bear…” etc.

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#11 2016-12-12 13:03:04

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 152

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

Yes, I get it now, Dixon. A person wouldn’t say “a heavy lode”, because that wouldn’t make sense, so it has to be “a heavy lodestone”, no matter what the source.
Thanks,
Bruce


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

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#12 2017-11-13 04:34:25

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1197

Re: A heavy lodestone/loadstone

JuanTwoThree wrote:

And of of course ‘motherload’ for ‘mother-lode’, which was spotted way back:
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/531/motherload/

Yeah, here’s an example I recently encountered:

And now for the mother load of mysterious stones: Meet Super-Henge, a massive stone monument located just 2 miles(3.2 km) from Stonehenge in the U.K.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2017-11-13 05:40:19)

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