spur » spurn

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • What spurned this sudden interest in college romance? (University of Kentucky Kernel, Oct. 12, 2000)
  • When asked what spurned the Faculty Senate to make such an agreement, Greenbaum declined to answer, saying only, “There was a perceived need.” (University of South Florida Oracle, Feb. 1, 2005)
  • The fear of being left behind in the “digital divide” is real and has in itself spurned policy changes now that it can be seen how important the Internet has become to world economies. (Cisco)
  • The Information Technology wave has spurned a multitude of design and development companies that are involved in building web solutions. (Pegasus Infocorp)
  • Based on writer Ernest Hemingway’s real life love affair with a nurse that reportedly spurned him to write some of his best novels, the film hopes to receive the same critical response as the director’s previous films. (UCLA Daily Bruin, Jan. 23, 1997)
  • He said that his desire to “give back to the community and create change from the inside,” spurned him to become involved in John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign. (NYU Washington Square News, Mar. 31, 2004)
  • “Naysayers are spurning him to get his books, go to classes and do his homework,” Wyman said. (Daily Nebraskan, Oct. 11, 2004)
  • There have been many coaches that have spurned me on and taught me many facts about the game. (Maranatha Baptist Bible College)

Carey Alexander McGee at Rational Explanation suggests that the basis for this eggcorn in the form of “What spurned…” is _spawn_, not _spur_. The semantic domains of transitive spawn (‘to cause to spawn; bring forth; produce’) and spur (‘to incite or stimulate’) are close, and some of the Web citations do seem related to the productive sense of _spawn_. Other examples, however, take the form “spurn (someone) to (do something)” or “spurn (someone) on” and could only be based on _spur_. Perhaps the _spurn_ eggcorn is at times based on _spur_, at times on _spawn_, and at times is a blend of the two.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/21 |

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