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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2019-02-13 04:50:54

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2307

taint < tint < taint

The spiral-shaped vapor, which was tainted red by the setting Sun, was spotted by a local man walking his dogs.

Indeed, some may still have their scalps slightly tainted pink or blue or red.

I recently just found out that my screen on all 4 sides started showing a yellow taint.

A few had a bluish taint but could never work out to be pure blue. They instead applied the mushrooms carefully and got a VERY weak blue.

(and many more.) Of course it goes the other way:

I found it was better when I dipped it in the curry sauce since the bread has a tint of vinegar. It reminded me of crepes.

The author’s writing is also rather tinted by his association with the CL-44; for example when describing the crippling spares shortages that plagued the type he shrugs this off as a burden, instead of an indictment of Canadair’s poor customer-service.

get rid of the existing chaos in society and daringly wipe out every tint of corruption from the sacred face of our beloved

they do not believe China can succeed unless the officials are removed from the tint of corruption,

(and, again, many more.)
This is perhaps best seen as a small fuzzy spot: the meanings of tint (a small or not-strong bit of color) and taint (a small or not-strong but unpleasant taste) overlap so much that confusions of meaning and usage are almost guaranteed to occur. Hint (a suggestion, small or not-strong bit of evidence) is surely in there as well, and some cases of tint < taint might be best viewed as taint/hint blends. But some cases may rise to eggcornhood. Glint, tidge and others may be in there too: maybe the fuzzy spot isn’t so small after all.
Some cases are doubtless purposeful; puns whether seriously meant or not. In an article re racial stigmas on dialects:

one way of speaking is more beneficial or more limiting than another. Dialects become colored and tinted by association.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2019-02-13 07:30:59)

*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 .)



#2 2019-03-03 14:00:01

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2697

Re: taint < tint < taint

As the OED points out, “taint” and “tint” are ultimately from the same Latin/French source. The difference seems to be that there is another word “taint,” from a different source (realted to “attaint”), that has, almost from the beginning, been blended and confused with the “taint” that is cognate to “tint.” When we talk about “a taint of dishonour,” it is the blended “taint” that puts in an appearance. Replacing it with “tint” would be an eggcorn on its mother’s side and a restoration of an older usage on its father’s side.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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