Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Just saw this on Slashdot:
“Kudo to their support team for posting frequent updates to the status of the outage.”
Google gives some 30k hits for “kudo to”
but that includes “kudo’s to”. Trying to exclude that leaves 20k
“Kudo to this app developer.”
“A Rare Kudo to CNN.”
“Kudo to Our Reviewers.”
“A Kudo to Rochelle Kronstadt “Reseda High School Teacher of the Year” for …. A Kudo to new drafting teacher Chris Monaster for guiding students in many …”
“To award a kudo to someone, click on the big thumbs-up image. ”
There seems to be a slight confounding issue in the fifth hit in that “Kudo” appears to be a Japanese (family?) name:
” Add Yuuki Kudo to your Artist Newsmail list to receive e-mail updates whenever new Yuuki Kudo items become available.”
Still – it seems that some people at least have reanalysed “kudos” to be a plural possibly some sort of analogy to “thanks” or “congratulations”. Or even “props” according to WP:
I don’t think this is an eggcorn, but certainly a reshaping of some sort.
Merriam-Webster online says the following:
Main Entry:ku·do Listen to the pronunciation of kudo
1 : award, honor <a score of honorary degrees and…other kudos— Time> 2 : compliment, praise <to all three should go some kind of special kudo for refusing to succumb — Al Hine>
usage Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.
That’s what I get for posting on instinct.
Well, no need to apologize: your analysis was correct, even if the lexicographers had already taken notice of the phenomenon decades ago. And until your post and fpberger’s followup, I was unaware of the word’s Greek origin—that explains a lot about this odd word.
Am. Heritage dictionary:
The singular kudo remains far less common than the plural use; both are often viewed as incorrect in more formal contexts. It is worth noting that even people who are careful to treat kudos only as a singular often pronounce it as if it were a plural. Etymology would require that the final consonant be pronounced as a voiceless (s), as we do in pathos, another word derived from Greek, rather than as a voiced (z).
Kudos (pronounced [kudoz] or written) = plural constitutes a nice hidden eggcorn, that still only comes out into the open in surprisingly few contexts. Most of the time people still use it in constructions where the original mass-noun meaning ‘glory, praise’ works fine: e.g. “Kudos to so-and-so for such-and-such”.
Here are some other examples of it:
Many kudos and many thanks go to Margaret Smith, exiting Executive Director of ZAP
Big kudos to those (MANY!) Netscape Mail users who responded
Kudos go to Jackson and his special effects wizards at the Weta Workshop.
What those fancy car kudos really mean
[company] received numerous kudos from various speakers.
Another fun variant has it as a 3rd person sg present tense verb, as in the headline
CAL THOMAS KUDOS OLIVER STONE
“To kudo” thus means what one might translate as “give kudos to” (which is another of those ambiguous constructions where it could be a plural for all anyone can tell).
Other variants I have collected:
Kudus to this Inn ¶ Jul 5, 2004: A TripAdvisor Member, vail, colorado ¶ A wonderful “hidden gem” in a most scenic region of Austria! […] We had the most wonderful breakfast in all of Europe and felt right at home! Kudus to this place.
I think kuddos also go to you
Kurdos to former President Carter, Hillary Clinton, as well as former President Bill Clinton for speaking the truth!!!
promotion and judos for the aforementioned inspector.
Can you hear the patho in my voice? Somebody toss me a kudo…
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .