Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I recently heard someone say this during a conversation about another subject being not just another subject but “a whole nother subject”. I asked him “How would you spell what you just said?”. He replied “I never really thought about how it would be spelled”.
I just thought it was interesting because I have been hearing it more frequently lately and wonder when people will actually begin to write such a phrase.
Well, they’ve written it about 1,780,000 times on the Internet, according to Google. I think it’s an interesting example of “infixation,” meaning that the word “another” is split and another word inserted. This is common enough, although the inserted word usually starts with an “f,” as in “absofuckin’lutely.” In other words, I think the phrase “a whole ‘nother. . . ” is deliberate and jocular in its origins, not an accidental redivision of the sort that generated “an apron” from “a napron.” By now though it’s just a colloquialism.
Aha! Here’s a very nice discussion, including the apparently well-known phenomenon of fuckin’-infixation (the British use “bloody”) . . .