Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
I wonder if the abbreviated forms of words lead to slips or changes that could be called eggcornish. “I’d better” which most people take as “I had better” gets transmogrified into “I would better”. Some discussion here:
and “I’d rather” goes the other way. It even started life as “had rather” so which is the chicken and which the egg(corn)?
Also, had sooner. Would prefer. For example, I had rather you let me do the driving, or He’d sooner switch than fight. This idiom today is often replaced by would rather (Late 1500s)
On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.
These would all be stealth-eggcorns, since the reinterpretations happen without sound or spelling changes. Unless, of course, the contractions are expanded.
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
They look like shifts in the structure of idioms, maybe even oddly related to the decay of the subjunctive, such as it is. I associate “had better” with the mandative, and “I would better” with the irrealis. “Would rather” as the irrealis shifts to mandative in “had rather”. I may be just , of course.