Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Google hits on March 19, 2009:
Analysis by Joe Krozel
Bowdlerize means “to expurage (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar” (per MW). This term originates with the name of an editor Thomas Bowdler who engaged in such a practice.
It seems quite natural that an unfamiliar surname might be transformed into a common word like “boulder,” and I suppose the next step in making an eggcorn is to attribute an imagery to it; One possibility is the notion of a boulder rolling along and striking down everything in it’s path: a metaphor for a heavy-handed manner of applying controversial policy.
A second possibility for the imagery is that a “boulder” or chunk of knowledge is presented… condensed to such a degree that it might be too hard to discover what might have been removed from the original. This possibility seems less likely.
As a separate thought, there’s also the possibility of “bowled-erized” (or some spelling variant) with the associated imagery of being “bowled over” or flabbergasted to find such editing has taken place!
The Nature of Reality
Greil’s book is full of inconsequential trivial mistakes, omissions and … ignorant of the fact that this is a boulderized version of the black blues commonplace: When you see me coming, hush your windows high (or turn your lights up
johnfahey.com/reality.htm · Cached page
Classroom Wars: Evolution in Action – Winds of Change.NET
... stand up for their personal beliefs and challenge authority is a positive in my books. ... you realize that much of what you learn as a kid has been simplified and boulderized.
www.windsofchange.net/archives/classroo … ction.html · Cached page
Is the book any good? – Blade Runner (1982) Forums
Is the book any good? – Read, share and discuss sci-fi movie Blade Runner (1982). ... learned that post-film adaptation editions of classic novels are routinely boulderized to …
forums.sciflicks.com/showthread.php?t=7706 · Cached page
Last edited by jorkel (2009-03-19 21:42:38)
As a Coloradan, when I saw your title, I wondered if there might be any relationship to Boulder, the liberal bastion here. But of course there is none. This is perhaps the opposite of Lehmann’s terms and Farrell cats: Here a real name is being replaced by a new term rather than a term being converted to a name (albeit a fictitious one). When a term (or name) falls out the scope of our experience, we try to make sense of it verbally within our experience, and these fun examples are the result.
I think the imagery is a little tenuous though plausible. Perhaps people in their haste (and given the brain’s tendency to find the familiar in the unfamiliar) read bowdler as “bowlder,” and then the spelling gets changed to the more familiar boulder. (But I would think that there must be a segment of the population who routinely pronouces it this way in order for the spelling shift to occur.)
Feeling quite combobulated.
On the Slavics listserv SEELANGS today:
“I am unwilling to jump on the Mark Twain bowlderizing bandwagon by taming
the authors’ original language, but I am putting in a footnote explaining
the context of this usage [..]”
This seems to confirm the previous poster’s idea of where BOULDERIZE comes from. This isn’t necessarily an eggcorn, but there are diverse and persistent misspellings, and they both point to some reanalysis in terms more familiar than centuries-ago editors of Shakespeare.
Another reanalysis doesn’t get any closer to a logical eggcorn – if anything, it’s contradictory: expurgated versions are bolderized. There about 25 unique genuine hits – somewhat less than the inelegant use of bolderize for “put into bold typeface”.
But this one has some guts: bowelderized. Cleaned out, as it were. Only 4 hits, but choice ones.
Last edited by David Bird (2011-03-15 00:44:09)