Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2018-04-11
Merriam-Webster’s online site has added eggcorns to . This segment is voiced by Senior Editor Emily Brewster.
Unfortunately, the video version makes the mistake of confusing one of the mechanisms by which eggcorns enter language with eggcorns themselves. Mishearing is only one source of eggcorns. Eyecorns, for example, are overlooked, as are false etymologies. This is a mistake, oddly enough, that the , does not make.
Conflating the mechanism with the result also overlooks the social dimension of eggcorns—a person’s one-off mishearing of an actual expression and substituting for it a plausible phrase does not make it an eggcorn. The mistake has to enter the lexicon and become the speech habit of a subset of language speakers. Like a virus, transmission is part of its nature.
Last edited by kem (2020-08-20 12:56:28)
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
Agreed – I’m glad you’re keeping track of this stuff.
For my part, I begin to detect within myself some proprietary instincts and feel unreasonably irked when liveried companies arrive with experts and JCBs, flags a-waving, and set to work next to me and my little shovel.
Last edited by Peter Forster (2020-08-20 10:54:17)