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#1 2008-06-18 08:28:20

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 790

'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

A temperature that looks warm but is really only tepid? It’s so obvious I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned before but I can find no reference to it.


... the mains were…..well lets say a tad cold, Jims especially which basically had burnt cheese covering a look warm burger that was cold in the middle. ...
www.bustermurdoch.blogspot.com/ – 105k – Cached


so I don’t think something hotter than a lookwarm or cool believer could stand me (THAT is the question, certain prince of Denmark would say). ...
iidb.infidels.org/vbb/ showthread.php?t=116362&page=2 – 145k – Cached


... we found it fine if you used it by 4.30pm, nice and hot anytime after that till about 9.00pm you might be lucky to get look warm water. ...
www.reviewcentre.com/review366638.html – 66k – Cached

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#2 2008-06-18 15:05:34

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2036

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Outstanding eggcorn.

Just wondering…is Paul Newman’s famous character, Cool Hand Luke, an oxymoron? “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

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#3 2008-06-18 17:19:02

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

It’s possibly an eggcorn, but not surprisingly obvious, at least not to me.

I’m not convinced that the meaning is “a temperature that looks warm but is really only tepid”. I would suggest, instead, some relationship to glancing.

Perhaps “a look warm burger that was cold in the middle” has merely been “shown the griddle,” in the sense of having spent too little time there.

Of course, this analysis doesn’t hold directly for “a lookwarm or cool believer”. For that, I suppose we need to turn to metaphorical extension.

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#4 2008-06-18 18:43:41

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Not a clear eggcorn to me either. Seems likely just a substitution of the extremely common ‘look’ for the totally opaque ‘luke’, based on their phonological similarity without any clear semantic justification.

(Not to deny that it is a fun one.)


*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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#5 2008-06-18 18:50:54

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

More common, apparently, is luckwarm :

Chickens should have luckwarm fresh water at all times. ... To help over heated birds give them luckwarm water and put them in the shade.

I don’t like drinking luckwarm soda. I was travling a country where refrigerators were not … You can’t really do anything with opened, luckwarm soda.

(The repetitions, of course, bolster the argument that this is standard for those who wrote it.)

Again, with a certain amount of ingenuity a semantic connection can be made out ( luck usually lands you near the 50/50 middle, neither really hot nor really cold), but I think it’s mostly just trying to avoid the puzzling “luke”.


*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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#6 2008-06-18 21:02:04

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

It’s hard to extract imagery for this one. The only thing I can offer is a real stretch: If it doesn’t look as if steam is coming off from it, then it’s probably look warm.

(Peter and I have had past discussions on how eggcorn hunters are masters of self-deception. The more imagination you have, the more you can rationalize just about anything!)

Last edited by jorkel (2008-06-18 21:02:39)

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#7 2008-06-19 04:31:09

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2036

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Of course, this analysis doesn’t hold directly for “a lookwarm or cool believer”. For that, I suppose we need to turn to metaphorical extension.

Actually, the use of “lookwarm” in the context of Christian religious belief may come closer than the other examples in representing the “only looking warm” sense of the word. The word “lukewarm” is used only once in the venerable King James version of the Bible, in the passage in the Revelation of St. John where Jesus is speaking to the church in Laodicea (Rev 3):

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

Any talk of “lukewarm believers” is probably an echo of this passage in Revelation. The lukewarm church of Laodicea is full of hypocrites who say one thing but are really something else. They only “look warm.”

Not sure what DavidTuggy means by “phonological similarity.” The sound distance between the word part “luke” in “lukewarm” and the word “look” (in AmEng, at least) makes me think that something is motivating the substitution.

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#8 2008-06-19 04:38:20

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

The phonetic difference between IPA [u] and [ʊ] (e.g. kook [kuk] and cook [kʊk) is very slight, as contrasting vowel sounds go. Not to deny that they do contrast in English, though there are relatively few languages like English that maintain that contrast.


*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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#9 2008-06-19 18:40:06

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

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Kem’s last post gave me an idea: the problem may be one of dialect/language. I’m in a hurry, so I was able to discover the location of the author of only one of Peter’s examples. The first one was written by a young man with a Scottish surname who lives in Glasgow. I can’t be sure he’s a Scots speaker, of course, but if he is, his spelling of “lukewarm” makes sense and probably isn’t eggcornish. My Concise Scots Dictionary uses the same vowel as English “shoe” for the pronunciation of “look” in Scots. So the writer may simply have been giving a phonetic rendering of his usual pronunciation.

I like “look warm” very much (whether it’s an eggcorn or not), and I thought that the variant “looks warm” would help to cinch the matter. But I couldn’t find any examples of “looks warm beer/coffee/tea/liquid/faith/belief.”

Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-06-19 18:46:01)

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#10 2008-06-19 20:18:12

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

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

I’d never realized until Il ooked it up now that there’s no relationship between Luke and lukewarm.

That lukewarm comes from the ME word “luke,” which itself means “lukewarm” and which shows up in our language in no other obvious place.

I think the “look warm” mental switch is, “looks it, but isn’t.”

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#11 2008-06-19 21:56:52

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Any comments on luckwarm (see above)? Hate to see it just get lost in the discussion.


*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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#12 2008-06-20 08:59:18

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

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

Well, I think the forum is sometimes quiet in response to a contribution not because it’s uninteresting, but rather because it defies definitive analysis.

“Luckwarm” is a head-scratcher. It seems unlikely to be a common misspelling of “lukewarm”—vowel contrast between “luck” and “luke” is pretty pronounced in most of the dialects I’m familiar with. But I’d be interested to know how “lukewarm” is pronounced in, say, Fife, or the Orkneys or among the Scots speakers in N. Ireland—regions in which other words spelled “luke” or “leuk” are pronounced like “luck.”

And because it’s an unlikely-looking spelling, the ol’ eggcorn radar starts going off. But what could “luckwarm” mean to anyone? Does getting the desired temperature between hot and cold seem like a game of chance? Or maybe luckwarm water is water as tepid as the luck most of us feel we have in most things. But those seem like really big reaches. Like “look warm,” this isn’t really convincing as an eggcorn to me.

Perhaps it’s a malapropic misremembrance of the term on the part of someone who’s rarely seen/heard it. But I would have thought that this was pretty darn common.

See? That’s why I don’t post when I haven’t been able to come to any kind of conclusion. But maybe my failure will kindle ambition in someone else’s breast….

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#13 2008-06-20 16:15:37

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

It’s good to poke around for places where “luke” and “luck” might be pronounced alike (or “luke” and “look”), but this one is too widespread (930 raw ghits vs. 341 for “lookwarm”) for me to accept easily that it is limited to, or arose only from, such dialects.

We’re used to forms where we are pretty sure of the pieces but don’t really see how they add up to the meaning of the whole. How many have any idea what “jerk” means in “jerkwater (town)”? And what has the water got to do with it? Can you explain how “eaves” and “drop” add up to “eavesdrop”? But you aren’t in much doubt about the identity of the roots in question.

My guess is that in both “lookwarm” and “luckwarm” people are mostly just heading for that kind of identifiability-without-transparency: even if the meaning combination is opaque, at least we know what is being combined. Then our inveterate ingenuity in making some sort of sense kicks in.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-06-20 16:16:56)


*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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#14 2008-06-21 02:27:34

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

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

The google counts on this one are actually kinda messy. As Peter noted, there are both 1-word and 2-word versions, and they end up complicating things. “Look warm” is very hard to count, and there are people using both Luckwarm and Lookwarm as noms de Web. So I went after the biggest fixed phrase I could find: “lukewarm water.” Here are the counts I got (raw hits/unique hits):

luckwarm water 149/52
luck warm water 493/64

lookwarm water 51/21
look warm water 875/49

In raw hits, the forms with “look” actually win hands-down: 926 vs. 642. But the “look” numbers are obviously inflated by cross-links and quotations; if you factor those out, the “luck” varieties do indeed come out on top: 70 vs. 116. That’s a big difference percentage-wise, but these are really small counts. One energetic poster on a cooking forum could close the gap singlehandedly if they used “lookwarm” a lot. You may well be right about dialect versions, but I don’t think you can tell much from the numbers—these are both too rare.

I think my “malapropic misremembrance” and your “identifiability-without-transparency” are probably about the same thing, and I agree it’s the most likely explanation.

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#15 2008-06-21 05:39:16

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2036

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

All this said, I still have a strong intuition that lookwarm is an eggcorn. Luckwarm sounds to me more like a malapropism. But the imagery of something “looking warm” but not really being warm makes just too much sense to be a sound accident. I don’t know how I could prove it to you all, short of finding someone who said “lookwarm” and getting them to confess that they wanted to convey the image of something only looking warm. I’ll make an attempt to contact one of these lookwarmers and see what they say.

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#16 2008-06-21 15:08:48

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1686
Website

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

A bit off the topic:

In a Nahuatl dialect I know some about, the verb stem nēsi ‘appear, look (like X is true)’ has a truncated adverbial form nēs ‘apparently, ostensibly(/ostensively:-)), sort of’. A friend, as a joke, likes to refer to nēskahven ( kahven being a borrowing from Spanish café ‘coffee’) as the translation for Nescafé. It looks like it’s coffee, but …

The ‘sort of’ meaning fits with assigning something similar to look in lookwarm .


*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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#17 2008-07-04 00:46:40

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2036

Re: 'look warm' for 'lukewarm'

A followup. I contacted the author of one of the “lookwarm” samples, and got the reply below (The sample is at http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/01/06 … bates.html ).

“I looked over my old comment and decided it was just a mental slip. As I have gotten older, I have noticed that when I am very tired or stressed my writing is effected in weird ways: 1) I leave out negative words that I intended to type (e.g. no, not, never, doesn’t becomes does). 2) Other words I spell incorrectly in a weird way. I substitute the spelling of a sound-a-like word for the intended word or part of word.”

No evidence here for eggcorn imagery transfer.

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