Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Today, in another thread, TootsNYC mentioned that he had started to spell “axis” as “access”, even though he knows better. That reminded me of an error I heard quite commonly when I worked in mental health. Mental health diagnosis uses a 5-axis system—Axis I is clinical mental disorders, Axis II is mental retardation and personality disorders, Axis III is physical disorders, etc. Every once in awhile I heard someone say “Access I” instead of “Axis I”, etc. I don’t think it’s an eggcorn, though, because the meaning isn’t there, as far as I can see.
I just ran into this one in a published article. Despite the lofty title, one shouldn’t look to Royal Society publications for the best in copy-editing.
Illustration of the nested relationship between Serengeti carnivores and their prey (data adapted from Sinclair et al. 2003b). The figure in the top left illustrates the prey species on the vertical access and the predators on the horizontal access.
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ … nsion.html
It strikes me as an excellent eggcorn. A quick shufti shows it to be very common on the web. An access is directional, after all, like a corridor. The vertical vs. the horizontal corridors.