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#1 2008-02-25 12:24:47

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

Words that don't exist but should...

Do you ever reach for a word and end up making one up because a suitable one doesn’t exist? Here’s one that I really think needs to be added to our lexicon: Integrous. We have to say something like, “He has great integrity” or “She is a woman of great integrity.” There is no suitable adjective form; we wouldn’t say, “She’s very integrated.” Wouldn’t it be convenient to say, “She’s very integrous”? While it has nothing to do with eggcorns per se, I think many of us here are word lovers, so, just for fun, my question is, what other words don’t exist that you think should?

Last edited by JonW719 (2008-06-27 16:17:48)


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#2 2008-06-27 16:18:27

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

OK, since we seem to have some wonderful topics going right now about words that are not eggcorns that seem to be some garnering some lively discussion, I thought I would resurrect this topic that I posted way back when. Takers, anyone?


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#3 2008-06-27 16:58:15

klakritz
Eggcornista
From: Winchester Massachusetts
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 674

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

I nominate ‘provacious.’ It’s a word my wife made up many years ago to describe an individual (me) who can’t let an argument drop until they’ve proven that they’re right and their interlocutor is wrong. Very useful word.

This project has a prehistory. The late Douglas Adams wrote two books of made-up words – ‘The Meaning of Liff’ and ’ The Deeper Meaning of Liff’ to fill in some of the semantic gaps in English. Somewhat earlier, the American comedian Rich Hall had written a book called ‘Sniglets,’ which was the same sort of thing.

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#4 2008-06-27 17:00:19

Fishbait2
Eggcornista
From: Brookline, MA
Registered: 2006-10-09
Posts: 80
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

For years I have attributed some of the more aggressive and outlandish aspects of male behavior to an excess of the hormone “preposterone.”

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#5 2008-06-27 17:03:54

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

“Provacious”. Indeed. I resemble that remark, very strongly. Not to mention preposterone.

What fun.


*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 2008-06-28 18:13:31

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

In responding to recent posts, I kept wishing that I had another word for “the original word an eggcorn is based on.” “The original” works pretty well, but it starts to feel clunky after a bit.

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#7 2008-06-28 20:30:35

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2740

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Wouldn’t “the eggcorn and the eggcorned” work? Or is eggcorn unverbable?

Last edited by kem (2008-06-28 20:31:08)


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#8 2008-06-28 22:14:08

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

The victim?


*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 2008-06-29 16:17:20

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

How about ‘eggcornee’ for a source idiom nomenclature nomination? Kinda ‘cornee’, though.

As part of an effort to avoid a myocardial ‘infraction’, I’ve been searching for a short word to describe foods that are too high in low-density lipoproteins. The best word I’ve been able to cook up so far is ‘cholesterous’. Also, sometimes it’s useful to sort things into reverse (or descending) order. Naturally, I thought ‘beta-alphical’ might do the job. It’s comforting to know that at least a hand full of other people share a similarly twisted sense of logic:

ghits( cholesterous OR beta-alphical ) = 6.

If that wasn’t enough, ‘beta-alphical’ set me to wondering why the words on either side of conjunctions always appear in the same order when the order doesn’t really matter? Sometimes the singular comes first. Other times, the “most to least” principle seems to apply. Occasionally, the syllabic rank takes precedence. Often, there is an implied causal or temporal relationship and at other times, just a casual or timeless relationship. Am I missing something here or is there some subtle governing set of linguistic rules other than convention? Since the answer to this is well beyond my linguistic pay grade, I resorted in desperation to simply christening these seemingly commutative objects of conjunctions as “bijunctive word objects” or simply ‘bijunctives’. (In math, bijunctive functions are invariant under permutation.) A few examples of ‘bijunctives’ are listed in no particular order by ‘bijunctive’ category below:

Miscellaneous: eggs and bacon; fork and knife; dogs and cats; day and night; PM and AM; debonair and suave; left dry and high; play loose and fast; polish and spit; on a prayer and a wing; shoulders and head above; come shine or rain; going down or up; the egg or the chicken; that or this; out or in; burned and crashed; early and bright in the morning;

Answers and Questions: dirty and quick solution; short and long of it;

Dance and Song: blues and rhythm; bugle and drum corps; drum and fife corps; roll ‘n’ rock; loud and nice; low and soft; shout and twist; western and country;

Drink and Food: butter and bread; cheese and ham sandwich; Coke and rum; crumpets and tea; doughnuts and coffee; eggs and steak; fries and hamburger; meatballs and spaghetti (meat-bulbs and basketti for the kids); comparing oranges and apples; pepper and salt; whey and curds;

Drugs and Sex: dirty and down; easy and nice; furious and fast; grind and bump; heavy and hot; kinky M and S; stems and seeds

Finance and Business: carry and cash; development and research; handling and shipping; marketing and sales; mortar and brick retail; receiving and shipping;

Games and Fun: go seek and hide; Indians and cowboys; robbers and cops;

Garden and Home: chairs and table; cold and hot running water; dryer and washer; screwdriver and hammer; thread and needle; water and soap; white and black TV;

Order and Law: control and command; corruption and graft; disorderly and drunk; entering and breaking; jury and judge; mouse and cat;

Places and People: file and rank members; girls and boys; gentlemen and ladies; land of honey and milk; the mighty and the high; Mrs. and Mr.; poor and rich;

Relaxation and Rest: breakfast and bed; cheese and wine tasting; fishing and hunting; hiking and camping; quiet and peace;

Weather and News: dry and hot; rainy and cold; shiny and bright; wet and cold; wet and icy; run and hit accident;

I guess trijunctives also exist, because there are at least six ways to make a BLT sandwich: BLT, BTL, LBT, LTB, TBL and TLB. Let’s not go into polyjunctives today.

And lastly, (but not ‘leastly’) the one and only meta-bijunctive: or/and.

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#10 2008-06-29 17:49:01

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Lotsa fun in there! Thanks, Roger.

Back in the 1970’s (!!) John R. Ross wrote a very interesting paper (in one of the Chicago Linguistic Society proceedings volumes, I think) on your “subtle governing set of linguistic rules” that may lie behind and thus influence, but not necessarily completely determine the conventions.

He came up with two principles: the semantic principle, which was “Me First!”, and the phonological principle, which was “ka-THUMP!”

Anyway, as in most other matters of linguistics, if people want to do it a different way, for whatever reason, you can’t stop them, and if enough of them do it long enough, it will become standard. In the end, convention is king, but human free will pushes the king’s thoughts around as it likes.


*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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#11 2008-06-29 17:50:25

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

rogerthat wrote:

And lastly, (but not ‘leastly’) the one and only meta-bijunctive: or/and.

Or verce-visa?


*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 2008-07-01 10:59:30

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

patschwieterman wrote:

In responding to recent posts, I kept wishing that I had another word for “the original word an eggcorn is based on.” “The original” works pretty well, but it starts to feel clunky after a bit.

After a few days of incubation, my favorite suggestion is ‘parent’. But, David’s ‘victim’ does have a nice ring to it. I chewed on ‘base’ and ‘kernel’ for a while, but I’m not sure I understand your question, exactly. I just noticed my thinking here pertains to a slightly different topic; “the original IDIOM an eggcorn is based on.” ‘Kernel’ feels to me more like the word, word fragment or phrase that gets substitued into or the original idiom to create the eggcorn.

‘Parent’, ‘base’ and ‘kernel’ are fairly standard terms in the obscure jargon of software development. The thing I like about ‘parent’ is that an eggcorn can be thought of as a child of a single parent nest, since idiom blends are excluded. In contrast, Helenism kids have at least two parents.

[Afterthought: Does this make the humble eggcorn the result of parthenogenesis?]

[Post afterthought for Pat; Come to think of it, may I also suggest ‘genesis’?]

Last edited by rogerthat (2008-07-01 13:56:02)

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#13 2008-07-01 15:35:37

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

I like most of the ideas suggested so far. “Parent” seems useful in that it implies directionality but gets around the word/idiom divide. “Kernel” has been suggested before, I think, and is nice because of its relation to “corn.” But maybe you’re right—that might feel more like the part of the output. “Genesis” works for me a bit less well than your others because it has so many overtones, which get a bit distracting. David’s “victim” is pretty funny but might be opaque to newbies. I think Kem’s “eggcorned” is my favorite so far because it’s topic-specific, but it feels weirdly counterintuitive in a way. The -ed suggests that something has happened to the word, but nothing has yet happened to “acorn” when it’s “acorn”; by the time it’s eggcorned as “eggcorn,” it’s no longer the same word (and it’s no longer the same river and you’re no longer the same guy, and, uh, yeah…).

Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-07-01 15:36:02)

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#14 2008-07-05 15:50:02

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

DavidTuggy wrote:

Or verce-visa?

Good one David! D’oh! I kinda went out on a limb using “one and only,” er, “only and one.” Also, thanks for the Ross ref.

Pat, thank you for your time and consideration with respect to the unofficial “name that original idiom contest.” I agree that ‘original’ doesn’t feel right (I prefer crispy, myself). After a couple more showers, I’m beginning to think that ‘parent’ has some unintended baggage. The use of ‘parent’ opens up the possibility of the well bred little eggcorn being mistaken for an illegitimate child. Miss Malaprop was far too proper to have ever fooled around. Scratching the bottom of my barrel, I have one more nomenclature nomination: ‘Basis’? ‘Basis’ might have that ‘input’ quality/feeling for which you are looking.

I regret that I am not in a position to participate in a very meaningful way in your valiant efforts to hammer out a good working definition for eggcorn. However, I am watching your posts closely and gaining a little bit of valuable insight into your ‘linguistic style of thinking’ (for lack of a better description).

BTW, can anybody recommend a fairly thorough, but quick read on “Semantics for Dummies” (if such a thing is even possible)?

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#15 2008-07-05 19:25:39

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2740

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Did you mean “Language Slips for Dummies,” rogerthat? Semantics is mostly under-the-counter metaphysics. The best introduction to semantics might be a good philosophy textbook. Language slips sometimes get lumped under semantics because many of the slips trade in some way on the comparison of meanings.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#16 2008-07-05 23:12:13

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

There’s some semantics that makes a fair bit of sense. (My sort, of course!!)

You might be interested in an application of some important aspects of the model I like to a certain kind of jokes (the ones that pointedly avoid mentioning the point), in the first presentation on this page:

http://www.sil.org/~tuggyd/PowerPoints/ … nglish.htm

If it seems like a fun/useful way to look at how meaning works, I can point you to other things to read.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-07-05 23:18:43)


*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 2008-07-05 23:38:37

Craig C Clarke
Eggcornista
Registered: 2005-11-18
Posts: 233
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

I’m tempted to start a thread – “words that do exist but shouldn’t.”

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#18 2008-07-07 10:45:56

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

You should! Sounds like fun.


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#19 2008-07-07 19:57:45

Tom Neely
Eggcornista
From: Detroit
Registered: 2006-09-01
Posts: 121

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Acorn is the only good term for “original of an eggcorn.” Pat wrote it, days ago. I wish I had been here at the start, because I would have beaten her to posting Acorn, and it would have made me famous. I would have had the tunestone-carver use it as my epithet.

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#20 2008-07-08 00:56:53

Craig C Clarke
Eggcornista
Registered: 2005-11-18
Posts: 233
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Tom Neely wrote:

Acorn is the only good term for “original of an eggcorn.” Pat wrote it, days ago. I wish I had been here at the start, because I would have beaten her to posting Acorn, and it would have made me famous. I would have had the tunestone-carver use it as my epithet.

Perfect! And not just for the obvious reason. The acorn is also the seed from which the eggcorn grew.

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#21 2008-07-08 20:34:10

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

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Kem and David, Thanks for the pointers. I won’t get to it right away for I have too many less important things to do right now.

Jon, Thanks for the thread.

Pat, I agree with Craig and Tom 100%. You da man! Let’s hear it for acorn! I hereby denominate all of my comparatively lame suggestions (Spare change, anyone?). I seem to be developing a reputation here for being obliquely oblivious to the obvious. Does this mean that my hard earned forum post count gets decremented? That didn’t hurt too much because math has a similar concept, something to the effect of “proof by exhaustive elimination.” Sometimes pondering noise helps tune in a clearer signal. [excessive rationalizations deleted] BTW, I’ve was lying in ambush to use ‘parthenogenesis’ since 8th grade biology. Thanks again.

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#22 2008-07-12 21:31:15

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2400
Website

Re: Words that don't exist but should...

Just raemembered another wonderful word that doesn’t exist for most of us, but that I love:

a soft, aulminous sound

It’s related, I think, to allsome, which we’ve discussed elsewhere. It sounds much more foreboding and threatening than “ominous” does. I and others have heard it, but I have not yet documented it (or allminous) in written form.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-07-12 21:33:15)


*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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