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#1 2009-01-09 04:35:34

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2140

blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

A list of misused and mispronounced English words has appeared on several web sites in recent years. The list is usually attributed to a “Dr. Language,” and it contains, to no surprise, a number of eggcorns. Almost all of them are already in the eggcorn.lascribe.net database or have already been discussed on the lascribe forum. Here’s one of the web copies of this list: http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/mispron.html

The LanguageHat blog has strong comments about this popular list (http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001217.php). The blog calls some of the list’s entries “bullshit forms reminiscent of those ‘Kids say the darndest things!’ pseudo-mistakes.” He mentions in this connection two items from the list, “Heineken remover” for “Heimlich maneuver” and “blessings in the skies” for “blessings in disguise.” I would agree with his analysis of “Heineken remover.” The phrase started out as a joke and remains a joke. “Blessing in the skies,” however, may not fit this category. Some who use the phrase mean it as a (bad) pun, of course, but on a number of sites this phrase appears to be a genuine eggcorn for the users of the phrase. See the examples below.

It’s possible that “blessing in the skies” started out as a pun and was picked up as a non-punning English phrase by some who heard it. But it is also possible that the correct phrase, “blessing in disguise,” was misheard and became an eggcorn in the standard way. Perhaps both events happened.

I wonder what to make of these eggcorns-call them rotten eggcorns-that start out as puns and then are adopted by people who do not know the punned phrase. Are they genuine eggcorns? Apparently some believe they deserve the name: another example that the LanguageHat blog classifies as a “pseudo-mistake,” the phrase “old-timer’s disease,” is already an eggcorn in the lascribe.net database (http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/337/old-timers/). I’m not sure I would would want to call all examples of “old-timer’s disease” pseudo-mistakes, but I am prepared to believe that at least some cases of “old-timer’s disease” are rotten eggcorns, phrasings that have been adopted from a deliberate pun and transformed into eggcorns by people who did not know the phrase “Alzheimer’s disease.”

Examples of “blessing in the skies.”

From the online version of The Philippine Times: “It was a blessing in the skies when the Pope started his motorcade and we all jumped up and ran through the nearest place where we can see, greet and take pictures of the Pope.” (http://tinyurl.com/7u2cq3)

Game forum: “With the extreme difficulty of Contra 4 on the DS those extra lives would be a blessing in the skies ” (http://www.myds.com.au/NewsDetail.aspx?id=377)

Jave programming forum: “Compared to parsing and building a document tree with SAX or DOM, JDOM is a blessing in the skies for a Java programmer considering the ease of use.”

A political blog: “ a blessing in the skies it turned out because look waht happened the results I got” (http://iraqwarwrong.blogspot.com/2005_1 … chive.html)

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#2 2009-01-09 10:37:37

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

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

The Web’s a small town. I ran across the same LanguageHat post a few years ago, and came to pretty much the same conclusions. Here’s one of my old posts on Old Timer’s:

I think it’s possible that this is spreading as an eggcorn—if so, it may be like “a mere bag of shells.” Jackie Gleason made the latter popular when it was used as a joke (for “a mere bagatelle”) on the Honeymooners back in the 50s. But I suspect there are now people out there who use “a mere bag of shells” without realizing its origin.

I really doubt Old Timer’s started as a true eggcorn—the phonological differences between the two phrases set off my alarm bells. And it’s far easier to find people on the internet who are talking about the eggcorn rather than committing it. But I’m willing to believe it’s possible that the joke has become so widespread that some people are unaware of any other name for the disease. I’m not sure—but it’s possible
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=657

I think LanguageHat was a bit quick on the draw on some of these—if you read through the comments there, one person gives personal testimony about the use of Old Timer’s, and LH backs off a bit. We’ve had similar testimonials about Old Timer’s posted here on the forum (though I’ve certainly never encountered anyone who used the phrase in all seriousness).

It’s easier for me to believe that “blessing in the skies” started out as a genuine eggcorn than it is to believe the same of “mere bag of shells” or “Old Timer’s,” but in any case I think your examples are probably authentic.

I’m not sure I like the “rotten” tag for these, though; I suspect that if we could know the full history of the more widespread eggcorns—the ones that actually seem to be spreading person-to-person—we’d probably find a complicated mix of recurrent spontaneous-but-unwitting innovation, conscious punning, and innocent diffusion with a number of them. The punning origins are just happen to be a bit more obvious with examples like “Old Timer’s.” And, frankly, I kinda like this class of eggcorn—I’d hate to see it saddled with a handle that smacks of disapproval. (Though, yes, my earliest posts on Old Timer’s also questioned its eggcornicity. Guess I’ve changed my mind over the years.)

There are also a number of Language Log posts on Robert “Dr. Language” Beard, if anyone’s interested. Beard doesn’t like the fabulous MWDEU—enough said, in my book.

Last edited by patschwieterman (2009-01-09 10:45:27)

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#3 2009-01-09 14:20:17

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

What’s “the fabulous MWDEU ”?
.
“A blessing in the skies” seems to deviate from central eggcornicity in that the meaning seems to generally be “a fabulous, unexpected blessing, a Godsend”, i.e. “a blessing from the skies”, rather than “a blessing that at first looked like a curse”.
.
I too waffle on what status to accord to what starts out as a joke or other purposeful mangling but is then picked up innocently by others and used as standard. I think it happens, and may be part of the background of a number of eggcorns we’ve discussed and accepted. I’ve argued in other posts that these are not really eggcorns.
.
But from another viewpoint (which I’ve also argued) an eggcorn is an eggcorn, no matter how it arose. Prototypically its origin is mondegrenous—someone hears the correct phrase and misanalyzes it—, but it need not always be so.
.
And of course a given eggcorn may arise in one way for one person and in another way for another. (As you both have said, in effect.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-01-09 18:37:02)


*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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#4 2009-01-09 18:05:19

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2140

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

I’m not sure I like the “rotten” tag for these, though; I suspect that if we could know the full history of the more widespread eggcorns—the ones that actually seem to be spreading person-to-person—we’d probably find a complicated mix of recurrent spontaneous-but-unwitting innovation, conscious punning, and innocent diffusion with a number of them.

I agree, “rotten” is too strong, especially if we accept them as eggcorns. Rotting is a one-way event, like losing one’s virginity. If we are going to accept these substitutions as eggcorns when they cease to be intentional puns, then calling them “rotting” gives us no opportunity for redemption. Perhaps we should call them “pickled eggcorns”-after a vinegar bath (the pun) they end up as passable condiments (eggcorns).

I think we both agree that an eggcorn cannot happen when the speaker knows the original phrase. This prevents intentional puns from being real eggcorns, since puns require the speaker and the listeners (if they get the pun) to know both the punned and the punning phrase. The problems arise when a pun is repeated by someone who doesn’t understand the pun because they don’t know the phrase from which the pun has been derived. I don’t see how we can keep such expressions from becoming real eggcorns. Which means I’m going to have to be more careful in what I say about these puns-I have also said intemperate words about them. They are only alleged puns. When the final verdict comes down, they may be acquitted.

“A blessing in the skies” seems to deviate from central eggcornicity in that the meaning seems to generally be “a fabulous, unexpected blessing, a Godsend”, i.e. “a blessing from the skies”, rather than “a blessing that at first looked like a curse”.

Both, I think, convey the idea of an unexpected boon. One drops from the sky, the other arises from the transmogrification of evil.

Last edited by kem (2009-01-10 01:10:08)

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#5 2009-01-09 18:31:18

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

kem wrote:

Both, I think, convey the idea of an unexpected boon. One drops from the sky, the other arises from the transmogrification of evil.

Yes, they have that in common with each other, and, in some degree at least, with unmodified “blessing”. But the whole point of the modification in the acorn is to specify that transmogrification of evil which the putative eggcorn ignores (if it doesn’t deny).


*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 2009-01-09 21:23:25

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

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

David Tuggy wrote:

But the whole point of the modification in the acorn is to specify that transmogrification of evil which the putative eggcorn ignores (if it doesn’t deny).

Well, why? I think if we get too specific about what’s “central” to the meaning of an acorn, we’ll shrink the pool of agreed-upon eggcorns rather markedly—and have trouble defining just what’s central. I think Kem’s point about unexpectedness hits the nail on the head—and I’d have to say that that idea is close enough to “central” for eggcornicity. (And I’m speaking as someone who’s skeptical about the eggcornicity of “debotchery”—I do care about the idea of a semantic “core.”)

It’s interesting, too, that we all agree that unexpectedness is the chief value communicated by the reshaping even though that’s not actually very explicit. In a certain sense, the sky is exactly the place many of us would expect blessings to come from. Nevertheless, I think our reading of the reshaping probably does capture the sense of this for eggcorners—maybe phrases like “lightning from a clear sky” or “clean out of the blue” are exerting some influence here.

David Tuggy also wrote:

What’s “the fabulous MWDEU ”?

It’s Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage (1989)—an excellent usage manual in dictionary form. MW also puts out the Concise Dictionary of English Usage, which is of course shorter but was updated to 2002.

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#7 2009-01-10 01:05:47

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

Probably I should have been clearer: the modification I was talking about was the phrase “in disguise”, which, when added to “blessing”, specifies very clearly that the situation that turns out to be a blessing didn’t look like one at first.

Compare the following (the first four non-repeating entries with reasonable context from googling the phrase) to the four kem originally cited:

Though the [National Intelligence Estimate] report aggravates Israel’s effort to compel Washington to pursue an increasingly harsh line against Tehran, all is not lost for Israel. In fact, despite these initial knee-jerk reactions, the NIE may very well end up being a blessing in disguise for the Jewish state by pulling Israel out of its state of paralysis vis-à-vis Iran.

Why the recession is a blessing in disguise | Alice Thomson … – [ Traducir esta página ] 10 Oct 2008 … The bankers are fleeing.

The rise of Hamas: A blessing in disguise? – International Herald … – [ Traducir esta página ] Maybe, but the participation of Hamas in the elections might prove to be a blessing in disguise. It will force the Palestinians to make a serious choice

is it a curse, or a blessing in disguise.

In every case, the situation called “a blessing in disguise” is one that, from “our” (the speaker and hearer’s) viewpoint, looks like a bad one. The NIE says Iran is not making nukes, when “we” want the world to know that it is; recessions are not what anyone, certainly not “we”, would naturally think of as “good”; “we” think it would have been better if Hamas were not participating in the elections; it looks (to “us”) like a curse, but it might turn out not to be.
.
Of kem’s original four, the situation is, the first three times, good from the moment it appears: “we” suddenly got access to the Pope; those extra lives are an intrinsically positive thing and “you” will become acutely aware of their value (as “I” have) as soon as “you” run into Contra 4 on the DS; JDOM is so much easier for “us” to use than SAX or DOM. In the fourth example someone (“my” roommate?) is playing music on the stereo till all hours of the night, but being kept awake turns out to be a good thing for “me” because “I” make some interesting discoveries. (I had to look it up to learn all that.)
.
“A blessing” or “a blessing (from the skies/the saints/God/the gods)” may or may not look great from the start: that aspect of it is just left unspecified (though since it is by definition a good thing there is some expectation that it will look like it). But “a blessing in disguise” is strongly specified to look at first as if it is not a good thing. All four of kem’s cited usages thus fit the meaning, “a blessing (that may well look like one but might not)”, and three of them contradict the central (criterial, if you like) specification of “a blessing in disguise”, that the blessing looks at first like a bad thing. This means that the proposed “eggcorn” is used mostly in contexts where the “acorn” does not fit.
.
I suspect that this pattern would hold beyond this limited sample. That is why I am reluctant to call it a full-fledged eggcorn. It is more like a standard mondegreen, though not as ludicrous as many, and more widely useful than most of them.
.
A bit of checking tends to confirm this. Think how ridiculous the following are when you take them to mean “a blessing in disguise”; their authors can’t have intended that.

Fred Astaire Morristown Dance Studio – Ballroom, Latin, Salsa … – [ Traducir esta página ] Our female staff is a blessing in the skies. They are great listeners, so you may share with them anything that is on your mind.

Us5 – A girl like you song lyrics – [ Traducir esta página ] You’re a blessing in the skies. I thank the lord to have you. Right here by my side. Refrain: Cause a girl like you. Is all I ever wanted

That it may have been born in contexts like that of kem’s fourth usage I don’t doubt, and it would be a good eggcorn if it continued to be used only in such contexts. But it often, even mostly, isn’t.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-01-10 01:11:44)


*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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#8 2009-01-10 07:58:37

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

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

DT—Looking back at Kem’s original examples in light of your comments, I think you’re right—the meaning of most of these isn’t as appropriate as Kem and I originally claimed; your analysis of all four seems convincing to me.

However, I’m surprised by this line of reasoning:

it would be a good eggcorn if it continued to be used only in such contexts. But it often, even mostly, isn’t.

So a reshaping can only be a good eggcorn if it’s used only or usually in contexts where the acorn fits? If that is your argument, I just can’t buy it. (What have you done with the real David Tuggy? This appears to be a very odd claim given “your” usual tendencies.) It’s not at all unusual for a reshaping to work in the way this one does: some of the reshapings get a new meaning; some are clearly eggcorns. I don’t see why the existence of examples that aren’t eggcorns challenges the eggcornicity of ones that clearly work. Guilt by association?

And in any case, it’s not at all hard to find better examples:

You know ending up single is not the worst thing that can happen to you.
It might even be…dare I say it?
A blessing in the skies.
http://www.singularexistence.com/manifesto.html

It’s not the end of the world. Think of this as a blessing in the skies. This way, you have no one to cook for you and you have no choice but to starve and LOOSE WEIGHT!
http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-AoncUmMy … cq=1&p=739

Calvin began his journey with Tourettes blind and helpless. Today, he credits the very disease in providing a higher quality of life.
“Looking back, Tourettes has been a blessing in the skies. It has taught me so much about love and what is important. I have philosophies I haven’t read anywhere. I was wisdom now that I never had as a young boy.”
http://www.nobilo.com/articles.php#workingman

Jennifer Cox: “In 1996, when our entire office was being laid off, my colleague Pierre did his best to convince me that it was a blessing in the skies. I’ve always loved his imagery and the reinforced idea of ‘heavenly’ intervention.”
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas … n_ove.html
[From a Jan Freeman column on eggcorns, but it’s a personal testimonial.]

(Edit: P. S. This is a pretty good example of what I think most people mean when they use “snowclone”:

What have you done with the real David Tuggy?

Though I think the classic formulation would be “Who are you, and what have you done with the real David Tuggy?”)

Last edited by patschwieterman (2009-01-10 08:17:16)

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#9 2009-01-10 16:15:04

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

patschwieterman wrote:

I think the classic formulation would be “Who are you, and what have you done with the real David Tuggy?

I’m just me, arguing the other side with myself if I can’t find anyone else to argue it with.

He also wrote:

However, I’m surprised by this line of reasoning: ¶ “it would be a good eggcorn if it continued to be used only in such contexts. But it often, even mostly, isn’t.” ¶ So a reshaping can only be a good eggcorn if it’s used only or usually in contexts where the acorn fits? If that is your argument, I just can’t buy it. … It’s not at all unusual for a reshaping to work in the way this one does: some of the reshapings get a new meaning; some are clearly eggcorns. I don’t see why the existence of examples that aren’t eggcorns challenges the eggcornicity of ones that clearly work. Guilt by association?

I hear you. And you’re right (at least to some degree) that the ones that work can be considered good regardless of whether others don’t. I guess the question comes down to the following sort of consideration: is there one structure manifested in kem’s four examples (and the others we’ve cited), or two? To the extent that there are two, fine, sure, no problem, one is an eggcorn and the other isn’t. To the extent that there is only one, however, that one isn’t completely, or fully, or 100%, an eggcorn. Guilt by association? Perhaps. But if you’re one with the guilty, that association should not be ignored.
.
(You’d be surprised, or maybe you wouldn’t, at how much the question of 1 vs. 2, or the gradation between quantized one and two, niggles at my mind.)


*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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#10 2009-01-10 21:15:08

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

It occurs to me to wonder if the there is some spillage from the phrase “to the skies” as in “praise her to the skies”: a blessing in the skies may be a kind of extra expecially wonderful blessing “in excelsis”. This works well, for instance, in kem’s example

Game forum: “With the extreme difficulty of Contra 4 on the DS those extra lives would be a blessing in the skies ” (http://www.myds.com.au/NewsDetail.aspx?id=377)


*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 2009-01-12 05:27:57

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2140

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

Pat: Thanks for the extra citations. I have not been lucky in my selections of examples lately.

David: Pat’s additions are good, but I’m not ready to give up on the original set. I still see eggcorns there. Some of our differences may stem from the way we conceptualize the semantic relationship between acorns and eggcorns. So far we haven’t spent much time on this issue, other than to note that the semantics of both acorns and eggcorns must dip from the same well. This sharing of meaning, we have agreed, is essential to an eggcorn. Without it, the expressions are just malapropisms, or perhaps pails (Zwicky’s term, derived from“beyond the pail”).

A short glance at a list of eggcorns suggests that there are several types of semantic connections between acorns and their eggcorns. One of the more common patterns of semantic shift we might call partitive. People who utter an eggcorn do not, by definition, know the acorn word and its semantics. When they first hear the acorn, they have a semantic hole that they must fill in from context. Guessing the meaning of a word or a phrase from context usually results in generalization. If I hear, for example, “the dog flushed a gopher from its hole” and I don’t know the meaning of “flushed,” I would probably conclude that flushed meant something like “caused to leave.” I would miss the subtle overtones of the word “flush,” the picture of birds rising from cover with loud squawks and the beat of desperate wings. But the more general notion that I take from the context, brief as it is, will serve until reading or hearing can fill in the sketch. In the case of an eggcorn, the speaker starts with the generalization that results from using contextual clues and takes it down an alternate semantic pathway. The narrower semantics of the new path picks out a single aspect of the more general meaning. So if I try to use the expression I heard the next day and I say that “the dog freshed a gopher from its hole” (I’m making this up-I don’t know if this is an actual eggcorn.), then I have taken only a single part of the “caused to leave” meaning, that of making a new (fresh) appearance, and have made it stand for the more general one.

So when someone says that the unexpected appearance of the pope seemed like a “blessing in the skies,” my impression is that when the speaker (mis)heard “blessing in disguise” she generalized it to mean something like “a boon I hadn’t expected.” At a later point, when the speaker eggcorned the expression, she selected a single aspect of this inferred meaning and made it more specific by relating it to a miraculous event descending from above (“blessing in the skies”).

I believe the eggcorn “blessing in the skies” uses this partitive mechanism and that the issues you raise have to do with what you think the generalized meaning was. You are assuming that people who make the mistake should have generalized the meaning to the more specific “a boon that originally looked like a bane” when they first heard it. But the context of their exposures to the phrase may not have supplied enough clues to go beyond “unexpected boon.” Arguably, an eggcorn could be derived from either generalization.

Whether an eggcorn derived from a wide generalization is a good eggcorn, though, is another question. My impression is that the better eggcorns come from the less general generalizations. So someone starting from the inferred meaning “an unexpected boon that looked like a bane” would produce a more dramatic eggcorn than a person who started with the less specific “unexpected boon.” Take, for example, what Trissa writes at http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuse … =27774102:
“i guess with you that was a blessing in despise for it allowed me to see the truth.” She seems to have picked up the idea that the original expression was a boon that didn’t at first look like it would be a boon (i.e., it was something despised). To me this seems like a better eggcorn than “blessing in the skies.”

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#12 2009-01-12 22:27:31

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

I think I agree with you entirely, kem (though I’m in a meeting listening to another conversation, so I am likely to be missing nuances of what you are saying.) It comes down to a matter of degree: how far can an eggcorn’s overall meaning/context appropriateness differ from the acorns and it still be called an eggcorn, or a “good” eggcorn.
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Whether or not they are given the name “eggcorn”, these are interesting reshapings, and the ways they arise are relevant to if not identical to the ways eggcorns (or “better” eggcorns) arise.
.
I would not have said, then, in anything even close to an absolute sense, that ‘people who make the mistake should have generalized the meaning to the more specific “a boon that originally looked like a bane” when they first heard it.’ They responded very adequately to the input (including the previously established structures in their minds) that they had received. But if they had “generalized the meaning to the more specific [structure]”, they would have made a better eggcorn.


*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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#13 2010-02-16 08:00:31

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1179

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

Is this a “pickled eggcorn”?

How-to health advice
The Heimlich remover is used to remove foreign objects from a
person’s airway to allow them to breathe normally.

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#14 2010-02-16 17:51:35

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2140

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

“Heimlich remover” could be an example of the pickled eggcorns we discussed in this post. Some of the web example are used in all seriousness. Others are puns.

Pickled eggcorns, though, are (unless we expand the meaning) ones that “start out as puns and then are adopted by people who do not know the punned phrase.” Seems to me “Heimlich remover” could be coined as a pure eggcorn, no pun heard and no pun intended.

Last edited by kem (2010-12-09 01:26:30)

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#15 2010-02-16 22:08:02

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

I wonder if we can find a better term than “pickled eggcorn.” Maybe we can create an intentional reshaping that could pass for the real thing. Or something with a little more disdain for the ones whose coinings gain widespread popularity among the naive. The term I had in mind was ache-corn because its a blatant reshaping that conveys my disdain.

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#16 2010-02-16 23:24:36

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2140

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

I suppose achecorn could also be a passing reference to the punning origin—laugh til your sides ache.

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#17 2010-02-17 00:12:50

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1765
Website

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

Corny enough that it might work.


*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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#18 2010-02-17 04:36:31

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: blessing from the skies << blessing in disguise, other rotten eggcorns

Actually, I was thinking that the ache comes from trying to figure out how to untangle the mess that the punning created in the first place. Sad that blatant puns might be taken seriously. Even sadder that we can’t always figure out whether someone is truly deceived—and how they got deceived—just from context clues.

So, for instance, I see “Old Timer’s disease” as a blatant reshaping because the sounds are so different from the original (as Pat pointed out). But if someone believes that’s the name for it—not realizing that someone else is intentionally using it incorrectly—well, I’d like to refer to that as an ache-corn because it’s just plain annoying! Aarggh! Double aarggh!

Stated differently, an ache-corn could be any alleged eggcorn that seems too contrived for us to believe that it might really have happened strictly by accident.

Last edited by jorkel (2010-02-17 04:43:26)

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