Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
I was perusing a message board and I ran across a reference to a “candlelight vidual”. This isn’t quite an eggcorn, but it struck me as an interesting interpretation of candlelight vigil. I did a google search for “candlelight vidual” and got 538 hits, more common than I would have suspected. Admittedly, most of these were on message boards or blogs, but one was in a college newspaper (http://www.lavalleystar.com/media/stora … eystar.com).
Is this just a mishearing of vigil, or something else going on?
Sound like an eggcorn to me—even if it isn’t a real word. Clearly it was begotten from a mishearing of “vigil” and ended up as a blend of “visual” and “video”—mainly by way of preserving the sounds of “vigil.” Heck, if the Eggcorn Database can contain an entry like “Tada” (for “to do”), then “vidual” seems just as legit.
Curiously enough, it seems that it is a real word, and one which might be vaguely appropriate:
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary – Cite This Source
\Vid”u*al\, a. [L. vidualis, fr. vidua a widow, fr. viduus widowed. See Widow.] Of or pertaining to the state of a widow; widowed. [R.]—Jer. Taylor.
I think the last two (three?) syllables of the word “individual” are providing a spelling template for this one. In my scary Californian pronunciation, “vigil” and the ”-vidual” of “individual” are pretty much homophones; I suspect that the same is true for those indivigils who are writing “candlelight vidual.” (But there are almost no authentic hits for “indivigil.”)
Peter—thanks for the word “vidual.” Weirdly, my spellchecher allowed “vidua” but flagged “vidual” as something unfamiliar. I could see both or neither, but not that strange split.
I thought maybe if people were headed in this direction, then some might end up at “Candlelight visual” since visual is actually a word people have heard of. Maybe they’re thinking about the fact that a lot of people standing with candles is kind of an interesting visual effect? I found 233 hits, but some are of the “candlelight, visual effects, music” variety. Many are really substituting visual for vigil, though…
“then were able to conduct a candlelight visual for the victims of the Tsunami. ”
www.unesco.org/csi/smis/siv/Caribbean/s … ar-rep.pdf
“World War II veterans will hold a candlelight visual at the World War II Memorial Monument in Continental Square at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept.” www.yorkdispatch.com/viewpoints/mclaughlin/ci_4260713
“The candlelight visual will be Saturday around 6:30pm. The memorial service will be 10:00 am on Sunday.”
I love that one, Frances—a downright beautiful eggcorn.
I just got invited to a “candlelight visual” on Facebook.
Since most people say “nuptual” instead of “nuptial”, I see a gradual re-shaping of the pronunciation of the “ial” ending (after certain sounds).
“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin