Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
For a long time, I thought this kind of flying machine was a hand-glider, i.e. controlled with one’s hands. In conversation yesterday, it turned out that more than one of the group I was in still thought that, having never seen it written.
Strangely enough, when I search for “hand-glider”, it turns out that it is a legitimate term for a variation of hang-glider (with a hand-shaped wing, I think). How confusing is that? A good number of the results to appear to mean hang-glider, though.
This reminded me of Ken Lakritz’s find of “right wind” for “right-wing,” “left wind” for “left-wing” and “wind nut” for “wing-nut.” I wouldn’t have guessed that /nd/ and /ng/ occur often in variation for each other, but there it is. After seeing this post, I went looking for “hand dog look” for “hang dog look” and “wing chill factor” for “wind chill factor”—and I got about a half dozen hits for each of them. I’ll bet there are many more examples of nd/ng substitution out there just waiting to be documented.
This seems to happen when the ”-nd” or ”-ng” is followed by a consonant, and the the two blur together; where I live, “sandwich” is often heard as “samwich”, for example. For “hang-glider”, it seems to be pronounced “han’glider”, with no information present for the blurred-out consonant (already a little blurred on its left!).
There’s probably a “rich vane to be mind” for the -nd to -m confusion, as witnessed by “sandwich” above; I ought not to waste my time looking for “hand burger”, “Sam castle”, “wing cheater”, etc….
Over 600 hits for “handburger.” Most of them are Jeffrey Dahmer jokes, etc., but a fair number appear to be the real deal. Simply a dialectal variant, or does the usual way of eating them play a role?