Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I know it’s been discussed here before, but I found a fresh example and couldn’t resist posting it: “We have honed in on what we consider truly crucial” (from a website advertising a music and arts festival this summer). Maybe some of you have never seen this eggcorn before. There’s an interesting article on it here:
... and the entry itself here: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/48/hone/ (following the LL article).
This one is now nearly unremarkable. I see it all the time in the press, almost as frequently as “give free reign”.
I’ve been playing around with the ngram viewer Kem introduced us to, in this instance trying to discover what relationship “horn in on” might have to the other two. I assumed it might be an eggcorn of either or both but it looks to be much earlier, and may be the acorn from which they hatched:
Hmmm – I can’t get the link to work, my fault entirely, and there’s no-one about to give a disbelieving shake of the head and with a quick blur of fingers bale me out…
I’d be very surprised if “horn in” were related to “home/hone in”, because, AFAIK, their meanings are quite different. “Home in” (of which “hone in ” is an eggcorn) means to close in on a goal or destination bit by bit. “Horn in” means something very close to “butt in”, as the similar images evoked by those two phrases show. The image I get is of a horned animal using its horns to “bull” its way into or through a group.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2014-08-24 12:48:50)