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  •  » The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

#1 2009-04-17 23:07:20

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 943

The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

The world of eggcorns is vast, evergreen and no one can know its limits, especially in the face of the jorkelian stealth eggcorn (sorry jorkel, that’s the last time I’ll adjectivize you). And there is every reason to believe that a significant fraction of the everyday language that we take for granite has been bent, bowed over and rewound multiple times before it trips so innocently off the tongue – here be eggcrons. Be that as it may, all is not eggcorn.

If I can piece together the history of this forum, from my fragmentary contact with the apocrypha, it was set up to have a dual tripartite role. First, it draws eggcorn-generated heat away from the Language Log. Second, it serves as a strongbox for certain canonical eggcornical finds. These exist in a hermetic capitalized Database. The Eggcorn Faery and certain of her Cohort have the spell that opens it, and they occasionally sneak a ripe one in.

Third, the forum increases the efficiency and the joy of the hunt for eggcorns by opening the door to anyone with the patience to email chris dot waigl and wait for inscription. This gatekeeping rigamarole wards off spammers, who did apparently arrive at the gates by the cartload at some time in the recent past. The assembled might of the forum’s members now resembles the thousand-armed (or 5-thousand fingered, give-or-take), thousand-eyed bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara who was able to see and hear all the suffering of the world at once. A thousand used to be a large number.

Over time, the posts to the forum have been separated into five Eggcornish Meeting Places. This soapbox is one, a congenial place to talk about ways to improve the forum. I’d like to use it to call upon others to provide alternative places for the expression of interest in the way shapes are formed in English. Any suggestions for other word fora for occasional meandering way off topic? For pikers like myself?

At the same time, I remember being interested but confused and hesitant with respect to the post by nilep in which he exhorted us to submit doubtful eggcorns to the wikipedia help:eggcorns page first for group rumination before entry here. Can you expand on that vision, nilep?

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#2 2009-04-18 07:21:35

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

I think what you’re looking for may be the “Alt.usage.english” newsgroup—which has its intro site here: http://alt-usage-english.org/ They’re a far more expansive bunch than we are, embracing a much wider range of topics—and they’re generally far more willing to go off-topic. Unlike this site and most other online discussion forums, they famously don’t honor the usual taboo on commenting on another poster’s spelling or grammar errors—an inadvertent sillycism has been known to set off piranha-like behavior there.

There are a bunch of very good smaller blogs out there. One of the best link round-ups I can think of is over at The Double-Tongued Dictionary. We’re not listed there, but most of the usage/etymology/”linguablogger” sites of any real prominence are included: http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/ … t/#langpub

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#3 2009-04-18 16:12:04

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2138

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

I hadn’t seen that list of language sites, Pat. A good one.

I see we aren’t in the list yet. You should send them an email (the email address is at top of list) with a small blurb about the eggcorn forum (I would do it, but you would still have to send them a note correcting the mistakes in my note).

Last edited by kem (2009-04-18 16:15:19)

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#4 2009-04-18 18:01:40

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Grant Barrett at Double-tongued can’t possibly be unaware of us, given his interests, and I think it’s a good bet that if he’d wanted us there, we’d be there. I have qualms about writing to someone and saying, “Your link roundup is so good that it’s unfair of you to exclude us.” Doesn’t feel right to me.

Barrett’s list includes virtually all the relevant sites I usually go to, but a lot of people here have more interest in wordplay than I do, and such folks may find the list at the Verbatim site really interesting: http://www.verbatimmag.com/links.html There’s surprisingly little overlap with the Double-tongued catalogue, and Verbatim’s includes links to sites on palindromes, Newfoundland English, and much more. It also has a link to the website of The Willard Espy Foundation—a very solemn site dedicated to the memory of one of the most light-hearted of writers on language.

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#5 2009-04-18 21:07:26

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 943

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

(stumbles back in with extensive grammatical retinal bleaching) Perfect, Pat, thanks. It is an anomaly that this site is not on the Double-Tongued dictionary list. The readers of that list would enjoy the Eggcorn Forum, without a doubt.

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#6 2009-04-19 03:58:17

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

burred wrote:

At the same time, I remember being interested but confused and hesitant with respect to the post by nilep in which he exhorted us to submit doubtful eggcorns to the wikipedia help:eggcorns page first for group rumination before entry here. Can you expand on that vision, nilep?

Sorry, obviously I didn’t make myself clear in the post burred cites.

Wikipedia has an Eggcorn page. Since it’s Wikipedia, anyone can contribute to the page, and users often add examples. Those additions are sometimes inappropriate for various reasons, so the preferred practice is to add them to the Discussion page rather than directly to the encyclopedia page. I’ve actually suggested that Wikipedia users who want to add eggcorns to a discussion forum should come here, not vice versa.

I’m not sure whether I’ve just made that clearer or more muddled?

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#7 2010-01-01 16:51:55

stevekirkp
Member
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 4

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

I’m a cornfused newbie. Having unearthed the eggcorn website yesterday, it appears to me that eggcorns are a special category of malaprops. The hyper-approriate malaprop. Gems among chestnuts. Cognac among the Schlitz beer of malaprops.
Does the forum and database consider only unintentional “wild” eggcorns?
Does one need a better than thou attitude, so we can make fun of idiots who have no right to use language? Make that “more bitter than thou”?
Or, can we mold new figurines of speech, to compost our own eggcorns?
Who knows what dramafications may arise!

Last edited by stevekirkp (2010-01-01 17:39:12)

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#8 2010-01-01 19:04:32

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Welcome to the forum, stevekirkp.

Linguists who specialize in malaprops—like Arnold Zwicky, one of the people instrumental in setting up this site—do technically consider eggcorns a form of malapropism. Not all of us on this site are so careful about the specialist definition of “malaprop”; some of us will occasionally talk about eggcorns and malaprops as being mutually exclusive categories—in that eggcorns make some sense and malaprops don’t. That’s a useful shorthand, and it answers to the popular sense of malapropisms as reshapings that don’t make sense in context.

You won’t find much mockery of eggcorners round these parts. We’ve seen too much. Everybody malapropizes or eggcorns from time to time, and the forum has many examples of reshapings collected from the pages of well-known writers and well-established magazines, etc. The people who make their way here and stick around tend to be fascinated with non-standard constructions—and what they imply about linguistic intuition and creativity—rather than scornful of them.

Yes, eggcorns by definition are unintentional reshapings; if you consciously worked it up, then it’s not an eggcorn for you—though exploration on the internet may demonstrate that it’s an eggcorn for others. We try to keep the “Contribute” page of the forum reserved for eggcorn candidates, but people do use the “Slips” page for word-play, non-eggcornish malaprops and other stuff.

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#9 2010-01-01 20:35:32

stevekirkp
Member
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 4

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Hmm.
It seems that if Sheridan popularized malaprops, through intentional and creative means, then the same could be done with eggcorns.
I would rather plant eggcorns than to root around for random droppings.
However, it appears that some of you have found the mother oak.
If I stumple over such odd, Quercus leavings, then I’ll contribute.

Last edited by stevekirkp (2010-01-01 21:13:56)

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#10 2010-02-03 09:31:35

Templair
Member
Registered: 2010-02-03
Posts: 4

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

lol what the hell

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#11 2010-02-03 14:49:40

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Pat said:

Linguists who specialize in malaprops—like Arnold Zwicky, one of the people instrumental in setting up this site—do technically consider eggcorns a form of malapropism. Not all of us on this site are so careful about the specialist definition of “malaprop”; some of us will occasionally talk about eggcorns and malaprops as being mutually exclusive categories—in that eggcorns make some sense and malaprops don’t. That’s a useful shorthand, and it answers to the popular sense of malapropisms as reshapings that don’t make sense in context.

The way I define eggcorns and malapropisms separates them into two exclusive groups according to a single criterion: The meaning of all words in eggcorns are shared by utterer and listener alike, but at least one word in a malapropism is from the private lexicon of the utterer. (We may further restrict “shared meaning” to those listed in some widely used source such as a dictionary … OED, if you prefer).

Last edited by jorkel (2010-02-03 14:57:39)

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#12 2010-02-13 21:48:41

stevekirkp
Member
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 4

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

To my last posting, Templair said lol what the hell.
I had tried to channel James Joyce, substituting approximate words, that have some meaning themselves. Quercus is like quirky, and it’s the Genus for oak trees. So, after mentioning that some of you have found the mother oak (mother lode) of eggcorns, “Quercus leavings” (or droppings) can refer to eggcorns (quirky findings) or actual acorns.
I thought I had my writer’s juices flowing, but maybe I was full of sap.

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#13 2010-02-13 21:59:47

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Not to worry about that commenter, steverkirkp. None of his postings were all that serious.

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#14 2010-02-13 22:22:56

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

Re: The limits to this forum, and alternative venues and avenues

Yeah, I’m with Jorkel. Templair made a small bunch of posts in a couple of days and then disappeared. I couldn’t figure him/her out—didn’t look like a typical spambot, not mean or rude enough for a random troll, and apparently not interested in eggcorns. We’re a little tiny inlet of a humongous ocean; you never know who or what will come swimming upstream.

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