midst » mist

Chiefly in:   in the mist of

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “well, in the mist of all of this with [name of spouse with cancer] I had fell and hit my head…” ()

From Larry Horn, on ADS-L, 22 February 2005:

from a contributor to a cancer survivors and caretakers support group:…

Whether this was a typo for “in the midst of” or a reanalysis isn’t
entirely knowable. But since the “all of this” in the context refers
to the murky complexity of misdiagnoses, denial of coverage, etc.
etc., I suspect the “mist” is in fact a reanalysis/eggcorn.


To which Jon Lighter added the invented example:

“In the mist of life we are in death.”


And on Language Log:

ML, 12/8/11: Lost in the miss of eggcorns:

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/03/15 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Michael McKernan , 2006/01/20 at 9:02 pm

    See the Eggcorn Forum for my discussion of FADE INTO THE MIDST (MIST), which looks at this word pair substituted in the opposite direction. I found far more exx. of this than midst rendered as mist, and a number of the exx. seem to me to be clearly reanalyzed to the point where ‘mist’ would no longer serve for the chosen [fade into the] ‘midst.’

  2. 2

    Commentary by Terry Anderson , 2006/08/29 at 6:58 pm

    I received an e-mail from a co-worker apologizing for her slow response by explaining that “I am in the mist of moving my office, and am really behind on my e-mail.”

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