Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Often hear this one!
Welcome to the Eggcorn website. The eggcorn you mentioned is already in the database. Click on “Eggcorn Database” on the red menu above, then click on “Browse eggcorns.” The index is alphabetical; It may even be on the first page under “a hare’s breath.”
Don’t worry too much about posting stuff already covered; It’s hard enough to figure out how to navigate a new website. I left a few suggestions on your other post discussing what you can do to investigate what’s already covered before posting. But again, don’t worry too much about covering old ground: Many of us familiar with this website are guilty of posting covered topic all the time (because some info is tucked away in unreachable pockets).
This is currently in the database. http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/51/hares-breath/
Some quantification of Lobbyludd’s “often” seemed in order, so I toddled off to Google. My search for “hare’s breath” returned 2,520 raw hits (versus 202,000 for “hair’s breadth”).
More interestingly, though, most of the top ten results (including the database page above) are not actual use, but mention. Five of them cite “hare’s breath” as a “blooper”, “annoyance”, or otherwise non-standard usage. Two additional hits refer to the Urban Dictionary, which defines “hare’s breath” as “A very short period of time.”
The remaining three Google hits appear to be humorous allusions, either to the original or to the eggcorn. One is the name of a piece of music (which the composer suggests was inspired by Aesop’s Tortoise and Hare), one seems to be the script for a play (featuring a character called RABBIT), and one a profile of playwright David Hare.
I suppose that, if nothing else, this demonstrates the limitations of “Google concordancing”, in eggcornology and in lexical investigations more generally.