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#51 2008-06-18 18:59:55

rogerthat
Eggcornista
From: Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: 2008-05-19
Posts: 64

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Speaking of haplology, we recently hired a contractor to add a room to our home. We overheard construction workmen using jargon that we found to be slightly unusual. We’ve since had lots of fun casually adopting the contagious usage “stension” for “extension [chord]” and also “electric” for either “electricity” or “electrical outlet.” Do these dropped syllables constitute haplologies in the strictest sense?

Also, we overheard a plumber use a potential eggcorn; “crawler” for “crawl space.” For me, ‘crawler’ seems loaded with creepy connotations because we do have lots of spiders and other “creepy-crawlies” in the crawl space under our house.

I can imagine the composite scenario of a workman hollering; “There’s no ‘electric’ in this ‘crawler’. Throw me a ‘stension’ !” Is this a regional thing or do construction workmen have a national dialect convention?

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#52 2008-06-18 19:06:51

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I’m sure there are regionalisms involved: in some cases the region in question may be a whole country, of course.

And yes, construction-speak is fascinating.

A crawler for me is also a name for the gizmo a mechanic lies down on to scoot himself under a car. (Not to mention web-crawlers and such.)

A fun one for me is a knock-out, which is either the round opening into an electric or the round slug that gets knocked out to make that opening. Add that, of course, to other meanings like “a win in boxing by knocking the loser out”, “an overwhelming experience”, “an overwhelmingly beautiful woman”, and so forth …

Re are they haplologies? Not in the strictest sense

The loss of one of two identical or similar adjacent syllables in a word, as in Latin nutrix, “nurse,” from earlier *nutritrix.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-06-18 19:16:46)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#53 2008-06-18 19:48:55

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I worked in music retail for many years, and I was impressed by the richness of specialized retail vocabulary—“upstock,” “understock,” “overstock,” “endcap,” “pull sheet,” “in-store,” “one-stop,” “ma ‘n pop,” and on and on.

And there were store-to-store differences. After years at one place, I transferred to a branch an hour north. At the first store, we used the whimsical term “foam puppies” for what my local UPS store calls “packing peanuts.” At the second store, we used the more standard “foam peanuts.” And there was at least one difference that reminds me of eggcorns: the CDs set aside for in-store play were called the “playstack” at one store but the “playstock” at the other one.

I imagine someone somewhere has studied professional jargon systematically. A lot of it isn’t in dictionaries. MW online has the widespread “endcap” listed, but the OED doesn’t.

[Edit: Right after I posted this, I heard a short program on the radio in which the speaker explained the idea of “8 row cherries.” These are cherries so large that you can only get 8 of them squeezed into one row of a standard cherry box. 10 row cherries are decidedly less impressive.]

Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-06-18 19:58:54)

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#54 2008-06-19 14:50:43

rogerthat
Eggcornista
From: Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: 2008-05-19
Posts: 64

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Pat, I heard a good example of jargon that I originally thought was unique to a local music store; “shrink” for “inventory shrinkage attributed to shop lifting.” But then, I recently discovered that a local store manager for a national grocery chain used the same contraction. The list goes on…

David, Another favorite contraction from construction-speak slowly bubbled to the surface of my mind; “circle saw” for ”[hand held] circular saw.” Of course, I can just hear a wise old journeyman carpenter advising his young apprentice, “Don’t get your ‘stension’ caught in a ‘circle saw’! The ‘electric’ might go out.”

Both of the above bring me to contrast two contradictory contractions from the construction trades and the music business: “demo” for “demolition” and “demonstration disc,” respectively. The possibilities are endless…

Off topic: Speaking of cats, we were adopted by a hungry stray cat on a cold and rainy day. On the spur of the moment, I named him Spot because of his coat having only one solid color. We now call him Spotty which more aptly applies to his unpredictable personality. Every year, the veterinary clinic sends a postcard to remind us, “Your dog, Spot is due for his annual checkup.” I once knew a Dalmatian named Spotz, which sounded much more reasonable to me than the usual singular name Spot. I am wondering, why would a name like Spot be so strongly associated with dogs to the total exclusion of other animals?

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#55 2008-06-19 17:00:21

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Yeah, it’d be fun to have a cat and name it Fido. Or is that too old-fashioned a name to even be relevant?


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#56 2008-06-19 19:35:21

rogerthat
Eggcornista
From: Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: 2008-05-19
Posts: 64

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Fido the cat is a good ‘un! It doesn’t sound quite that old-fashioned to me. But, how can we ascertain whether or not a cat concerns itself with the relevancy? How about naming an attack trained Doberman pinscher (at a junk yard) Fluffy?

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#57 2008-06-19 20:12:51

TootsNYC
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

DavidTuggy wrote:

Yeah, it’d be fun to have a cat and name it Fido. Or is that too old-fashioned a name to even be relevant?

I used to babysit for a kid who HAD a cat named Fido.

But do you know, I have never met a dog named Fido—or Rover.

But I think that stereotype still lingers.

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#58 2008-06-19 20:55:32

JonW719
Eggcornista
From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-09-05
Posts: 285

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I have a cat named Mouse….


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#59 2008-06-19 21:04:20

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 827

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I had an aunt who named her pet tortoise ‘Lips’. ( I never imagined there’d be an opportunity to share that with anyone else…)

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#60 2008-06-19 21:09:29

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

A Venezuelan friend named his dog “¿Cuál?’ ‘Which one?’, in anticipation of people’s asking him what was the dog’s name. (Who is on first?)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#61 2008-06-23 20:28:52

TootsNYC
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

My brother named his dog “Perita,” which apparently means “little dog” and got a kick out of introducing his pets: “our dog, Perita, which means ‘little dog,’ and the cat, Muffin, which means ‘small baked good.’”

The lengths word geeks will go to, to make a bad joke.

(and I have met another can named Mouse)

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#62 2008-06-23 21:46:37

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

A can named mouse. Sounds scary. (You never know what you’re eating these days…)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#63 2008-06-23 22:25:51

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

“Perita” (as opposed to “Perrita”) would mean “Little Pear.” I’ve had pear muffins, and they’re delicious.

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#64 2008-06-24 20:58:30

TootsNYC
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Oops—I should have looked it up—it must have had two r’s.

I on the other hand, in addition to never having taken Spanish, have never had pear muffins.

I have had pear sauce, which is a great substitute for applesauce.

Oh, geez, a can named Mouse—I can’t type, I can’t look things up, and I can’t proofread.

Sorry!

Last edited by TootsNYC (2008-06-24 20:59:13)

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#65 2008-06-26 17:50:04

rogerthat
Eggcornista
From: Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: 2008-05-19
Posts: 64

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

This probably belongs in a different category, perhaps “Things you read and correctly pronounced in your mind but misunderstood.” Pat’s recent Contribute! post “Incandlescent” for “incandescent” jogged yet another childhood memory for me. When I first read the word incandescent (ca. 5th grade), I thought it to literally mean that the light bulb “doesn’t flicker like a candle.” This was based upon my naive analysis that the prefix ‘in’ implies ‘not’ as in incapable or inconsiderate; ‘cand’ is a fragment of candle; the suffix ‘escent’ implies “essence of”. Even though my aging copy of OED shows that the non-standard syllabic decomposition was slightly misleading, I can’t help but wonder whether lack of flicker was a among the primary considerations in Thomas Edison’s mind when he described his light bulb invention (non-inflammability notwithstanding). What would have happened if Nikola Tesla had experimented with ‘influorescent’ tubes?

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#66 2008-06-26 18:35:58

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Lovely analysis! I love how kids can do that.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#67 2008-06-28 21:49:59

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Do speculative secondhand accounts count? I was told about about the FOAF who thought “entranced” (as in being in a trance) was stressed on the first syllable—it made sense to the FOAF, and they argued about it. (I think both people were teens at the time.) I don’t think I thought to ask about rationale, but I wonder whether the speaker might have been envisioning being “entered” by some power that takes you over. (Kinda like the “inspiration” sent by the muse.) But I’m guessing.

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#68 2008-06-28 22:47:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

FOAF = “friend of are family”, or maybe “friend of a friend”? “But I’m guessing”.

Very nice example!

Just remembered another one that lasted me into high-school, as I remember:

awry pronounced AW-ree. Related somehow in my mind to awkward, gawky, etc.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#69 2008-06-28 23:16:31

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Usually “friend of a friend.” It’s really common in urban folklore circles, where the story about the vanishing hitchhiker ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!! to a “friend of a friend” we’ve all lost touch with.

Yes! I’ve lost touch with the friend who told me this, so all you urban folklorists are welcome to start adding me to the archives.

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#70 2008-06-28 23:19:23

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

DT wrote:

Just remembered another one that lasted me into high-school, as I remember:

awry pronounced AW-ree. Related somehow in my mind to awkward, gawky, etc.

Nice one. You certainly do want to go “awww” sometimes for certain awkward, gawky people for whom everything seems always to go unaccountably awry.

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#71 2008-07-26 14:09:22

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I had (college) students once write a paper about the usage of some common word that’s hard to define, and I got some amazing submissions. One girl wrote on the word “cute”, and brought out several things I would never have thought of (E.g. did you ever think that a good opposite of “cute” is “dangerous”? As I’ve checked around and thought about it, it fits amazingly well. She showed a pic of a doped grizzly bear being tagged, and it was indeed “cute”. But imagine it coming out from under the anaesthetic, and it would very quickly cease being cute!)

Anyhow (I’m coming eventually to the point), she concocted this cute little story about a cute little boy and girl who go hand-in-hand to their cute little kindergarten class, and see all the cute little stuffed animals around the room and the cute decorations painted around the wall, and they just go “Awwww …” when they see it, and “That sense of awe helps us understand what the word ‘cute’ means” !!!

I was blown away. But I’ve come across several since then that truly understand “awe” as the emotional reaction that makes you want to go “awwww”.

I had wondered what people meant when they sang (to a catchy little tune) “Our God is an awesome God”— maybe their God is a cute little tame thing that makes you want to go “Awww” and chuck him under the chin?

Anyhow, you could look at it as a pretty drastic hidden eggcorn. Awe is zero-derived from Awww. Awesome.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#72 2008-07-26 14:13:13

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Got a post from my sister (a first-rank data collector) with a bunch of mistakes from an audiobook version of Jane Eyre . Among them was “lineament” pronounced “LINE-a-ment”.

Anybody know a special name for mistakes made in reading out loud? They’re an interesting category.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#73 2008-08-01 12:30:25

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1793
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

“Outlier”, pronounced [OUTlee-er] like “friendlier”, lasted past college for me, as I remember. It will always be associated in my mind with Won-tolla, in the Red Dog story in the Jungle Book. If they’d just spelled it outliar, I’d have known how to pronounce it. But I’d have been puzzled over its meaning, despite the following from jorkel:

“Outliers” are data points that fall outside an expected range. More generally, it can refer to anything that deviates significantly from the norm. I’m sure the term “outliar” is often an intentional reshaping meant to place an emphasis that anything that far astray must surely be a liar. I just wonder if any of the usages are eggcorns. Too bad there aren’t more. I just get a chuckle out of the imagery every time I think about it.

(It’s only statistical outliers that will so deviate from the norm as to seem untrue.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#74 2008-08-06 07:25:04

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 657

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

busterp wrote:

“Best one I had for years was the same as Clint above: misled – totally thought it was my-zeld.
“I actually heard a segment on this on NPR’s This American Life.”

Hah, busterp and Clint—I just posted my identical mistake re: “misled” in the Eggcorn Forum (under the title “Not an eggcorn, but amusing”), and now, mere minutes later, I see that you both already mentioned it. Judging from how common it is in this small sample, there must be a million people who’ve made the same mistake.

Dixon

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#75 2008-08-06 07:34:59

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 657

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Craig C Clarke wrote:

”...he pronounced his name “Morris,” and since all adults called him that it was some time before I realized that it was spelled Maurice. I’m not sure why he read the word Maurice as Morris, given that he grew up speaking French…”

Craig;

I just learned a few years ago that Maurice is also an Irish name and, in contradistinction to the French pronunciation, the Irish traditionally pronounce it “Morris”. So, even though your grandpa grew up speaking French, perhaps there was an Irish influence in his pronunciation somehow?

Dixon

Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2008-08-06 07:36:12)

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