Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
I’ve seen this several times on the web… “add lips” replaces “ad lib”, which is shorthand for the musical term “ad liberatum.” Either it is used with its original meaning, or as a synonym for lip-syncing.
An Amazon.com review:
There are surprise endings on STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE, REFLECTIONS, and YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON. Ross does great add-lips on COME SEE ABOUT ME, BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN, and LOVE CHILD. THE HAPPENING goes on for 30 seconds more than the original single.
I love this one, but I can’t see exactly what the writer is seeing when she/he used “add-lips.” What lips are being added? Or what does it mean to add lip(?). I’m not seeing how the imagery is derived, I guess. Other than maybe Diana Ross’s lips were moving while she improvised on the fadeout… Ideas?
Feeling quite combobulated.
Maybe that is the idea – that as the artist is adding their own improvised singing the colloquial term has come from “add lips” as in adding their own spoken or sung input. Not the most sensible idea, but I can almost see the reasoning.
I can see how this would come easily with the part-of-speech change. While the Latin ad libitum is a prepositional phrase, as are the earliest usages in English of “ad lib.” (note the period), that quickly morphed in to the verb “to ad lib” (without period).
From the Oxford English Dictionary:
1900 in A. E. T. WATSON Young Sportsman 27 The catalogue may be extended ad lib. for those who require their spring-balance weighing-machine, vaseline,..and small bottle of odourless paraffin.
(The earliest usage of prep. phrase “ad lib.” in the OED is T. Busby A complete dictionary of music 3rd ed., 1811. There is no quote included, however.)
1926 WHITEMAN & MCBRIDE Jazz iii. 73, I remember one day asking one of my English musicians, ‘Can you ad lib?’..‘Certainly,’ answered the man, rather nettled, ‘I can ad lib anything.’ 1927 Sat. Even. Post. 5 Mar. 54/3 The text of musical plays..is much more flexible..and considerable ‘ad libbing’, as impromptu speeches are called, is indulged in.
Note the regular inflection on “ad libbing”. A third-person singular performer ad libs. The listener unfamiliar with the Latin-derived prepositional phrase simply doubles the s to perpetrate adds lips.
As to the semantics, in the review Jewel quotes the ad lib. portion is added (making the new record 30 seconds longer) by Ross, using her lips. Admittedly, this would make less sense for instrumental music etc., but then etymology is never quite consistently logical, is it.
By the by, Jewel wrote:
Either it is used with its original meaning, or as a synonym for lip-syncing.
I would be interested to see some “synonym for lip-syncing” usages. Could you provide a few quotes or links?
This is a superb eggcorn. Here are some citations of “add lipped” in which the notion of adding something with the lips fits well with the “extempore” sense of “ad lib.”
“I mean I know that they were all drunk when the came up with this song, and that it was add-lipped at a concert….” (http://www.amiright.com/real/repeatartist/nyc.shtml)
“The gospel choir swayed and add lipped when the spirit moved them.” (http://tinyurl.com/42m3v3)
“I just read the transcript and it said housepet. Although I remembered that she said houseplant in the show. Maybe she add lipped it in.” (http://www.birdsofpreyonline.com/forum/ … t-350.html)
I’m sorry; I guess my question still is, what is the speaker picturing here? Truly something to do with lips? Or are they picturing exactly the same thing as ad libbing but misspelling it? I am having a hard time believing it is anything but the latter.
Last edited by JonW719 (2008-09-12 14:50:43)
Feeling quite combobulated.
Truly something to do with lips? Or are they picturing exactly the same thing as ad libbing but misspelling it?
Well, both, I think: Speaking or singing (something to do with the lips) extemporaneously (ad libitum)
Individual speakers’ “pictures” almost certainly vary, but either – or both – work.
nilep wanted to see examples of “add lip” for lip syncing. I don’t have one of those (I haven’t looked) but I did run across an example of “at lip” for lip-sync. In a discussion about whether one pop star was lip syncing, most called it “lipping”, and then this emphatic opinion that she was faking it:
Dead at lipped the whole thing.
http://www.afterld.com/showthread.php?5 … viewfull=1
For whatever reason she did not sing live that day, who cares, Whitney did not want to dissapoint, she showed up at lipped to a live recording. The funny thing about Whitney is that she is the worst lip singer in history, you always know when she does,
http://classicwhitney.yuku.com/topic/29 … up-mystery
Last edited by burred (2012-01-21 02:48:42)