Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Registrations were closed for a long time because of forum spam, but I have re-opened them on a trial basis.

The forum administrator (chris dot waigl at gmail dot com) reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2009-01-23 12:17:36

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

A SHELL/shadow of one's former self.

A shell of one’s former self
vs.
A shadow of one’s former self

I went to look up this idiom today and was a bit surprised to see the shadow variant listed, but no mention of the shell variant. I do recall hearing both—and both could be technically correct—but I would suggest that one is decidedly idiomatic while the other is a widely used spinoff. Eggcorn or a gray area?

Offline

 

#2 2009-01-23 12:49:35

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 1843
Website

Re: A SHELL/shadow of one's former self.

Not alike enough phonologically to be an eggcorn, in my judgment. I can’t imagine saying one thinking it was what others were saying when they said the other.


*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 .)

Offline

 

#3 2009-01-23 16:08:04

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

Re: A SHELL/shadow of one's former self.

I mostly agree David, except under the foggy-recollector scenario in which an utterer doesn’t remember the original but manages to produce something with vivid imagery which is like-sounding enough. One really has to wonder how two similar sounding phrases come into existence.

My other thought is that the change is intentional; Perhaps some struggled with making sense of the shadow and decided to go with a shell instead. Or, perhaps the original was adapted to describe the bombed out “shells” of buildings during wartime; So, in that circumstance, something certainly could be reduced to a shell of it’s former self.

Last edited by jorkel (2009-01-23 16:17:19)

Offline

 

#4 2009-01-23 16:44:23

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 1843
Website

Re: A SHELL/shadow of one's former self.

Similar-sounding phrases come about all the time by “normal” syntactic means: we don’t always try just to reproduce clichés that we have heard. Foggy recollections doubtless enter in to those “normal” processes, too.


*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 .)

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts