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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-01-27 20:05:42

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2725

leant weight to << lent weight to

The other day I was composing an email and I wrote that something “leant weight to” something else. After writing the phrase, it didn’t look right. A few seconds later, the light turned on-I should have written “lent weight to,” with “lent” being the irregular preterite of “lend.” The origin of the idiomatic phrase “lend weight to” seems to be a metaphor of sorts: you add weight to something by lending (loaning) it more mass.

Apparently I’m not the only one to have made this leant/lent mistake. A lot of speakers spell “lent weight to” as “leant weight to.” A few thousand examples.

Mapping the two phrases on ngram suggests that the error occurs about 1% of the time.

Possibly something eggcornish happening here. Or some interaction with the idiom “leaning your weight on” (i.e., pressuring).

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#2 2020-03-04 05:30:54

Registered: 2005-11-10
Posts: 80

Re: leant weight to << lent weight to

I don’t think this is an eggcorn. Lent/leant are frequently misspelled. I suppose it would help if spellcheckers highlighted the meaning and frequency (rather than just the existence) of words, but they don’t.



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