Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I’ll let this example speak for itself since I’m a little short on time right now…
The Truth, Mainly – Did he say “wisened” or “wizened”?
In his first press conference after being elected to a second term, President Bush said he’d been “wisened” by his experience in Washington. ...
thetruthmainly.com/2004/20041122.html – 8k – Similar pages
A couple of days ago, I stumbled on this online:
He’s a wisened old man with a plethora of information and good advice on raising chickens and he has a fondness for Rhode Island Reds.
That got me thinking about “wisened” as an eggcorn for “wizened”. They’re both associated with being old, so a person could easily get the impression, after having seen the term “wizened” a few times, that people were referring to the wisdom that purportedly comes with age. On the other hand, it could just be a misspelling. I reckon that some of them are eggcorns, though. Here are a few examples that seem, from the context, to be good candidates for “wisened” as an eggcorn for “wizened”:
wisened old face in Haiti
description of a photo
The Bones Brigade travels around California, Nevada, and Hawaii to different skate spots in search of a wisened old man, Won Ton “Animal” Chin.
synopsis of a movie
But while the RIAA would sue your grandma for file-sharing in a heartbeat, don’t expect them to go over the wisened old matron of the British Isles.
reference to the queen of England
Workshop debate about Kelly’s wizard sleeve thingy sees the the wisened old geezers chuckling :-
discussion among surfers
Rafiki, a wisened old baboon, appears before Mufasa, the lion king, who leads him to where a mother lioness nestles Simba, her newborn cub.
description of trading card
In Inuit mythology, Tootega is a wisened old goddess, who lives in a stone hut and has the ability to walk on water.
There are also quite a few substitutions of “wizened” (shriveled) for “wisened” (gotten wiser), for instance:
Langs films are filled with this: men who start out pure or with good intentions, who become bitter, corrupted, or somehow wizened up thru coming into contact with the hard facts of life at some point or another.
Glad to hear that some places in Arizona have wizened up
discussion of hospital food
there was a time
when I was your fool
but I wizened up
to you being cruel
Somehow the substitution of “wizened” for “wisened” doesn’t seem eggcornish to me (it just seems like a misspelling), though in the opposite direction it often does appear to have the eggcornish meaning connection/confusion.
There are also quite a few substitutions of “wizened” (shriveled) for “wisened” (gotten wiser)
Could just be an American hypercorrection—thinking that “wisened” is the UK spelling for “wizened.”
I always pronounced wizened like wisened, i.e. [‘waʲzn̩d] rather than [‘wιzn̩d]. I don’t remember thinking that wrinkles come with wisdom, but I might have.
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .