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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2018-09-26 04:31:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

outrage < out + rage

I was thinking, half asleep this morning, and the Spanish word ultraje (‘insult, atrocity’, things like that) flitted through my mind. It suddenly struck me that English outrage must be cognate with it. That is, originally it was more like outré + age than out + rage . I was pretty sure most English speakers assumed the latter, and entirely sure I had.
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Sure enough, according to this site , it is from

Middle English (in the senses ‘lack of moderation’ and ‘violent behavior’): from Old French ou(l)trage, based on Latin ultra ‘beyond.’ Sense development has been affected by the belief that the word is a compound of out and rage.

Of course, that “belief” is anything but unrelated to the appropriateness of the meanings of out and rage : an outrage is the kind of behavior that (by being out of bounds) makes a decent person rage inside if not actually rage out at the action or at its perpetrator. ( Out is doubtless cognate with ultra but much further back down the Indo-European tree.)
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In other words, we have a very successful eggcorn, which fits the definition of a successful folk etymology. I’m not sure I had, or had not, ever tumbled to this realization before, but it doesn’t seem to have been discussed here on the site.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-09-26 11:39:28)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#2 2018-09-26 20:28:48

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 184

Re: outrage < out + rage

Yes, David, the “age” is just a suffix. Here is the simple etymology of the word:
https://www.etymonline.com/word/outrage

Bruce


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#3 2018-09-27 17:28:28

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

That site doesn’t discuss the suffix, that I see. But I agree, it is (or was) the same suffix as in mileage , even though it is pronounced with a strong stress (for some the main stress of the word). It might have been out(re)ness , I suppose.
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It strikes me that when I say I was outraged I never mean “I was insulted,” but rather “I was very angry.” Is that true for any of the rest of you?


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#4 2018-09-28 03:33:40

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1322

Re: outrage < out + rage

DavidTuggy wrote:

It strikes me that when I say I was outraged I never mean “I was insulted,” but rather “I was very angry.” Is that true for any of the rest of you?

And earlier, he had written:

...the Spanish word ultraje (‘insult, atrocity’, things like that)...

FWIW, I’d agree that the current common interpretation of “I was outraged” has little or nothing to do with having been insulted, and lots to do with the emotional distress of encountering something deemed an atrocity, whether or not it involves an insult to the person who is outraged. ”(O)utraged” in that context could be understood as an adjective denoting that state of mind, or as a transitive verb (Merriam-Webster: “to violate the standards or principles of” or “to arouse anger or resentment in usually by some grave offense”)—or both at the same time.

Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2018-09-28 03:34:49)

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#5 2018-09-29 11:25:40

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: outrage < out + rage

A classical example of a stealth-eggcorn. No sound or spelling change marks its passage into misinterpretation as “out” plus “rage.”


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#6 2018-09-30 06:33:11

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

Doesn’t the stress-shift count as a sound change? And there are a couple of other shifts that depend on it, in the tr cluster or non-cluster sequence, and in the second-syllable vowel. I mean, we don’t say [‘awtrǝj] but rather [‘awt’reʸj] or even [‘awʔ’reʸj]. Granted, this is centuries (or at least decades) after the meaning shift, and the (resulting) sound shifts may have taken place after the eggcorn was formed.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-09-30 09:08:52)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#7 2018-10-02 14:40:24

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1581

Re: outrage < out + rage

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#8 2018-10-02 14:45:31

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

So how come searching for “outrage” and “out rage” didn’t find it? Aargh.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#9 2018-10-24 00:10:59

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: outrage < out + rage

Doesn’t the stress-shift count as a sound change?

It’s a stealth-eggcorn because I don’t change the pronunciation when I say “outrage,” not thinking about the component parts, and when I say “outrage,” thinking of it as composed of two words. Were you perhaps thinking about the historical pronunciations?


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#10 2018-10-24 16:23:56

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

I cannot pronounce it with stress on the final syllable (as well as, not instead of, the first syllable) if I am thinking of it as composed of outr + -age, but I do pronounce it that way if I am thinking out + rage or not thinking about the component parts at all. If I were to think of courage as being composed of cou + rage (with rage meaning fierce anger), I would pretty much have to pronounce it with enough stress on the second syllable to maintain the [ey] quality of the vowel, as opposed to letting it become a schwa.

In a sense the historical pronunciation, at the time the eggcorning was first happening, would be the more important datum, but I don’t know for sure what it was. I would guess that there were some indications of the changed analysis, probably involving reduced stress for the suffix vs. non-reduced stress for the stem rage, parallel to what I find for myself now. If so it was not a stealth-eggcorn then, and it is not for me now.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-10-24 17:04:33)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#11 2018-10-25 08:26:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: outrage < out + rage

Not my personal pronunciation, but now that I think about it, I think I have heard people say it the way you indicate. Then there is the equally popular “outrageous,” where the stress naturally moves to the antepenulted “rage.” “Outrageous” may encourage a more equal stress on “outrage.”


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#12 2018-10-25 12:47:20

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

Which one is not your pronunciation? Do you say [̩ɪtsǝn’awtrǝdʒ], or [̩ɪtsǝn’awt’reydʒ] (or something in between or something else?) for “It’s an outrage”? (I only say the second, which is probably an important part of why the analysis of outrage as outr+-age eluded me for so long.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#13 2018-10-25 13:50:57

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: outrage < out + rage

I say it like the 3 US speakers on the forvo site, though perhaps with more stress on “out.”


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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