Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I asked my college age students for some of their ideas of items they felt should be covered under the Charter of Human Rights here in Canada. One student submitted “with an aging population it is important to allow people to assist with youth in Asia”.
I wasn’t sure why kids in Asia would want to help us, until I read the answer aloud to my husband and realized they meant “euthanasia”
I’d had this one reported to me, but it is difficult to tell when it is a genuine error and when it is advertent (a joke.)
The joke is an oldish one: there was even a rock band with the name 20 years ago: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_in_Asia
This case seems likely not to have been a joke, though I have known students (and been one myself) who would consider putting a joke like that in a paper. (An interesting “Human Right” to espouse.)
A number of other people testify to having misapprehended the phrase, e.g. there are a couple of dozen testimonials to that effect on www.iusedtobelieve.com/death/people/eut … h_in_Asia/
It is certainly a striking, and entertaining, malapropism. Is it an eggcorn? I’d say not. Eggcorns, at least “good” ones, offer a somewhat reasonable reinterpretation of something resembling the original meaning. This one seems to engender nothing but puzzlement, e.g., from the iusedtobelieve site above:
I couldn’t understand what the children in Asia had to do with basiaclly a sudicide act.
I could not figure out why in the world the youth in asia (euthanasia) would want to kill old people. I was really terrified that one day these youth would off my grandparents.
I used to think “euthanasia” was “youth in asia” and used to constantly wonder why so many politicians were so opposed to the asian youngsters.
I couldn’t figure out what the Youth in Asia had to do with people dying, but I figured I should know and was too embarassed to ask.
A couple report an analysis that makes some sort of sense, but very different sense from euthanasia: namely that it is the foreign youth who are at risk:
that the government was making plans to go and kill all of the children in africa!
couldn’t understand why all those kids were being killed.
(The idea of killing is of course from the context, not from the words “youth in Asia”.)
Anyway, a fun one. But not an eggcorn.
Let us all remember with reverence Jack Kevorkian’s patron saint, Euthanasius.
(And btw, Welcome to the forum!)
Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-08-21 20:35:45)
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
I KNEW I’d find this on eggcorns if I searched hard enough!Perhaps the latest appearances of “youth in Asia” (for “euthanaisa”) have been spotted at the well-publicized health care town hall meetings across these United States. On MSNBC the other night I saw a videotape showing a protester holding a sign: “Stop Youth in Asia!”
Last edited by AuntShecky (2009-08-27 16:51:08)