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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-03-08 12:02:11

Registered: 2010-07-06
Posts: 1

Drink myself to Bolivia

This appears on page 218 of Lawrence Block’s 1993 Matt Scudder novel /The Devil Knows You’re Dead/, as something a participant says at an AA meeting; Matt & his sponsor comment to each other that “he probably thinks that’s the expression.”
I note that Dadge mentioned Mike Tyson’s “fade to Bolivia” in a 2007 comment [] and concluded that, at least for the time being it should be considered a malapropism. While I see Dadge’s point, it seems to me that the phrase in Block’s novel is an “eggcorn,” because Bolivia is a long way away—as is oblivion in its own way.



#2 2020-03-09 11:20:47

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2383

Re: Drink myself to Bolivia

The example Dadge referred to had the word Bolivian rather than Bolivia, which is a bit more likely to be only a metathesis (since the -iǝn ending is preserved, but the resulting adjectival meaning doesn’t fit as well as the nominal meaning of Bolivia .) Of course, the categories of metathesis, malapropism, eggcorn, typo, and whatever else are anything but disjoint. Many examples could be different combinations of those for different people or even the same person at different times. One of my favorite explanations of what is an eggcorn is that it is “a malapropism that makes sense (and is used because of that sense).”
My son did me a neat illustration of the phrase “He drinks himself into Bolivia every weekend”, which I had collected independently of Mike Tyson or Lawrence Block. I don’t know how to show images on this forum, but if you send me an email (firstnamelastname@gmail) I could send it to you. Or it’s on p. 66 in here .

*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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