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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-09-29 11:08:45

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2777

wi-fi << wildfire

Someone down under notices the eggcorn “spread like wi-fi” replacing “spread like wildfire.”

There are a few other examples on the web. They seem to be concentrated in Africa.

News accumulator: “Coronavirus could spread like Wi-Fi in Ghana if gov’t does not educate citizens well”

Article: “Later, when the infection started to spread like Wi-Fi, it can be concluded that the virus can be transmitted person to person ”

News op-ed: “Economic uncertainty seems to be increasing at the same rate as COVID-19 spread like Wi-Fi”

News release on Nairaland Forum: “Please disregard the rumors spreading like wi-fi that the singer is sick ”

Oregon newspaper article: “And McMenamins has always been spreading like wi-fi.”

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#2 2020-09-29 20:41:40

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2459

Re: wi-fi << wildfire

I really like this one.
I had collected spread like wired-file but the speaker immediately corrected it to “wildfire”, so it wasn’t an eggcorn. I also have spread like widefire , which may have been an eggcorn, and several similar with grow instead of spread . Also relevant is spread wildly , which is probably an eggcorn in some usages, though it may be an independent legitimate formation in others, where the fierce manner of spreading is truly the point of the phrase.

In the United States, from the 17th century on, it spread wildly and intermittently to innumerable places.

[The intermittency seems to contradict at least the impetuous implication of “wildly”, and yet the “to innumberable places” would be redundant if not superfluous if widely were being thought of.]

the world’s population lacks immunity to the virus, and there is no current vaccine against it, COVID-19 infection has spread wildly worldwide.

[It has spread widely , but the hype endemic to news reporting might view it as having spread wildly as well.]

ND Democrats spread wildly inaccurate information about oil tax collections. Yesterday Governor Jack Dalrymple announced that he would be calling state …

[Here it’s almost certainly wildly inaccurate was intended, and the juxtaposition spread wildly is accidental.]

Rumors, conspiracy theories and false information about the coronavirus have spread wildly on social media since the pandemic began.

[Strikes me as a pretty legitimate formation, the focus being on the fierceness of the spreading rather than its extent]

of safe drinking water and predisposed malnourished population, cholera, as any other disease, spread wildly in almost all of Yemen.

[Could be widely talking about the extent of the spread ― all Yemen ―, but wildly might fit too.]

And many other examples similar to these.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-09-30 16:40:13)

*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 .)



#3 2020-10-10 04:44:29

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1085

Re: wi-fi << wildfire

Lovely eggcorn, Kem – instant classic!



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