thrall » trawl

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Don’t let formalities obscure your creative vision; while in the trawls of the creative process, energy is more important than perfection (accessed 15/11/2008)
  • kids are always entrawled by pirate stories (accessed 16/11/2008)
  • Thickly layered plot, effective pen work and a complex and entrawling journey into the world of Temperance Brennan. (accessed 16/11/2008)

A Google search for instances of “in the trawl(s) of” (and obvious variants) taking the place of “in the thrall(s) of” (etc.) turned up only the cited instance, among hundreds of instances (most, but not all, using “trawl” in the singular) related to fishing either literally or metaphorically. However, both “entrawled” and “entrawling”, taking the place of “enthral(l)ed” and “enthral(l)ing”, appear to be very common.

The semantic explication of this egg-corn that pops into my head is that that which is “in the trawl(s)” of a fishing boat has, literally, been “caught up”. The third occurrence cited is one of several dozen from the .ie domain; presumably those are non-semantically reinforced by, if not entirely due to, /θ/ -> /t/ substitution.

| link | entered by Lee Rudolph, 2008/11/16 |

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