entree » ontray

Classification: English – cross-language

Spotted in the wild:

  • We only eat here twice a year its the best!! even though its sometimes a long wait its worh it! the apitizors,ontrays and deserts are amazing. (Restaurant review, July 18, 2007)
  • Does anyone know japanese Ontrays, Dinners/main courses, and/or Dessert recipes? (Yahoo! Answers, accessed 2009-01-03)
  • My boss asked me to bring two on-trays to our christmas party, but I honestly don’t know what to put on the trays. (Yahoo! Answers, accessed 2009-01-03)
  • Maybe after you have finished you could have lunch and include some ontrays (i-do.com wedding planning boards, Mar 9, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

This eggcorn is not very common: most people likely would try to look up an unfamiliar word if they recognize it as a borrowing from a foreign language. When it occurs, though, it is a classical cross-language eggcorn. As David Tuggy writes in his forum post:

> The imagery seems clear enough: entrees are often brought to diners on trays, so one might well think this was the reason for the name.

Note that on-tray/entree puns abound in the restaurant business, as a web search quickly shows, and that OnTray is also a brand name for a little tray-like container that attaches to shopping cart handles, used for holding snacks for children sitting in the shopping cart seat.

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/01/04 |

brand-new » bran-new

Classification: English – nearly mainstream – final d/t-deletion

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Ben Zimmer (Word Routes, Visual Thesaurus, Dec. 5, 2008)

Brand-new dates to 1570, but the variant bran-new was already appearing less than a century later. See the Word Routes article for a full analysis, including this eggcornic “etymythology” given by a Wiktionary contributor:

The term ‘brand new’ or ‘bran new’ was when new items were packaged up with unwanted bran grain in the 18th Century to protect the object during transit. When the item was unpacked, the owner would often find traces of bran in the item. Hence the term.

| Comments Off link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2008/12/08 |

quitclaim » quickclaim

Chiefly in:   quick claim (quickclaim) deed

Variant(s):  quick claim

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • Legal property description — the legal description of your property is indicated on certificates of titles, warranties and even quick claim deeds. (The Lufkin Daily News, Nov 14, 2008)
  • We bought a house for our daughter. She is paying the rent, taxes and insurance. We signed a quickclaim deed and put her name on it so that she would receive the proper bills at the house address. Does that deed mean she is part owner of the house now? (Mortgagefit forum, Aug 5, 2006)
  • The company belongs to Elvin Moon, who reportedly paid Herenton $50,000 for private land, but gave the property back to Herenton for $10 in a quick claim deed. (my fox (Memphis), Nov 14, 2008)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Marian Neudel (via our posting interface)

The very common substitution of _quick claim_ (or _quickclaim_) _deed_ for the technical term _quitclaim deed_ qualifies as a very straightforward (mortgage-related) legal eggcorn.

Wikipedia informs us that a quitclaim deed is

> […] a document by which a person (the “grantor”) disclaims any interest the grantor may have in a piece of real property and passes that claim to another person (the grantee). A quitclaim deed neither warrants nor professes that the grantor’s claim is valid. By contrast, the deeds normally used for real estate sales (called grant deeds or warranty deeds, depending on the jurisdiction) contain guarantees from the grantor to the grantee that the title is clear. The exact nature of the warranties vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Quitclaim deeds are sometimes used for transfers between family members, gifts, placing personal property into a business entity, or to eliminate clouds on title, or in other special or unusual circumstances.

For the non-legal reader, this seems to mean that the term is used to describe a particularly light-weight, “quick”, way of signing property over to other people. Or in the words of our contributor Marian Neudel: “Presumably the rationale is that it is faster to process one of these than several other types of deeds, most notably warranty deeds. A quitclaim, after all, is merely a way of conveying all the rights you own in a piece of property — if any — rather than certifying that you actually own something worth conveying.”

The eggcorn is also easily understood phonetically: The hypothetical consonant cluster [tkl] in the middle of _quitclaim_ easily morphs into [ʔkl], even for speakers of dialects that do not generally realize final [t] as a glottal stop ([ʔ]). The latter would be the case for significant numbers of British English speakers (who pronounce even the word _quit_ as [kwɪʔ] instead of using the dictionary-pronunciation [kwɪt]).

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/11/27 |

skimmed » skimp

Chiefly in:   skimp milk

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I drink whole milk too. I find that drinking skimp milk doesn’t fool your appetite — it’ll just demand three times as much in revenge for being short changed. (Nosdiet discussion list, Nov 15, 2003)
  • He also wants women to drink a glass of skimp milk for a dash of calcium. (The Dancer's Diet, accessed Nov 24, 2008)
  • man, I LOVE milk. I was raised on skimp milk…and every now and then Id get treated to real milk! (whole milk!!) when I went to someone elses house or something. (ScratchLounge forum, Jul 20, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

_Skimp milk_ for _skimmed_ (or _skim_) _milk_ is not a very frequent substitution, but one that immediately makes sense. As Pat Schwieterman writes in his forum post, “Skimmed milk does skimp on the fat compared to whole milk.”

As a caveat, there are indications that some speakers intentionally employ _skimp_ for jocular derision:

>Just last week we had an interesting conversation in our office about skim milk. Names such as ‘white water’ and ’skimp milk’ were mentioned. For people who grew up drinking whole milk, the idea of changing to skim milk, also known as fat-free milk, is unpleasant. (link)

The cites above, however, do sound genuine, and the first two appear in texts that do not use a jocular tone. (I am less certain about cite number three.)

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/11/24 |

fiscal » physical

Chiefly in:   physical year

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Proposed Budget of Expenditures with Tax Levy for Physical Year Beginning July 1, 2004, to and including June 30, 2005 (Ashdown Schools Budget, as of Oct 27, 2004)
  • The studio had a gross income of $18 million the first twelve months after the war, but that declined to $4 million during the physical year of September 1947 to September 1948, and led to a net defect of some $6 million. (moderntimes.com, accessed Nov 23, 2008)
  • ANNUAL REPORT OF THE LIGHT-HOUSE BOARD OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FOR THE PHYSICAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1872. (Margoliss & Moss fine books, accessed Nov 23, 2008)
  • For the physical year ending June 2006, revenue has been weak, and expenditure has been high, with most cash outflows going to our consultants. (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

Joe Krozel’s post to the Eggcorn Forum already provides a very exhaustive investigation into the substitution of _physical_ for _fiscal_.

Acoustically, the two adjectives are easy to conflate: the unstressed second syllable of _physical_ is not very salient. Indeed, we find examples of online writers expressing their annoyance about this conflation in speech. Note that in the following example, it is entirely unclear of the person who pronounces _fiscal_ like _physical_ would also spell the first like the second:

> I once had a supervisor that could not correctly pronounce “fiscal”. She always said, “Physical year.” If I had respected, trusted, or liked her, I would have shrugged it off as just one of those things that makes us human. Inside it only made me want to yell, Use phonetics woman! It’s two syllables not three! I’m from the South too and that is not an automatic license to add an extra syllable to every word. (link)

To quote from Joe’s post on how to possibly rationalize _physical year_:

>The use of “physical” in the EGGCORN “physical year” is a reference to the “physical” set of dates which define the assessment year (different from the calendar year). One instance where a communicator might use the eggcorn “physical year” as a naive substitute for “fiscal year” is when he is NOT AWARE that the word “fiscal” exists for that purpose. This usage seems to invoke the definition of “physical” meaning “of or relating to the body” in the figurative sense of the body of dates that define the year in question.

On the other hand, let’s note that some writers use _physical year_ in the opposite sense: to refer to the calendar year, and to distinguish it from any culturally determined, business, or indeed fiscal year whose start and end do not fall on January 1.

* _This change was implimentated in the middle of August instead of at the end of the physical year._ (link)
* _Board Member, Jean Louis Bosquet made a motion to change HAES fiscal year from the physical year._ (link)

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/11/23 |