Eggcorned

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Eggcorned

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:43 pm

I posted, "I grew up in Wales and have been blissfully unaware of the "thing" version until now. In fact, I might even eggcorned thing into think if I had heard it" on the "You have another think coming thread.

Is it legitimate to make 'eggcorn' into a verb in that fashion if an eggcorn is an involuntary action?
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Eggcorned

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:39 am

Verb any noun; climb every mountain. The English language almost requires at least one of those things.

I'm not sure I actually understand your question, Bob, but I still have a couple of comments:

1) Mishearing a word or idiom and transforming it into something else is the essence of the eggcorning process.

2) On the other hand, mishearing a non-standard form of an idiom and, by doing so, transforming it into the standard form, produces the opposite result compared with the normal eggcorning process, since you have transformed the eggcorn back into the original acorn (as it were).

So whether you believe you have produced an eggcorn will depend on whether you think the process is more significant than the outcome.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by hsargent » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:21 pm

An earcorn (eggcorn?) is a word in a common expression which is misunderstood by enough people and used frequently enough in error to be accepted as correct.

A single occurrence does not an earcorn make!

Or is eggcorn your effort to prove the point?

Have we made of list of these before?

"If you think that is true well you have another think (thing) coming."

"Did you eavesdrop (easedrop) on the conversation?"
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Signature: Harry Sargent

Re: Eggcorned

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:36 pm

'Earcorn' is itself an eggcorn for 'eggcorn' (i.e. the result of mishearing or misconstruing an established word or idiom).

A single occurrence can still be an eggcorn, though it is unlikely to become widespread unless it develops notoriety (or fame) by virtue of having been coined by a person prominent in the media or popular culture. It is the mechanism by which it arises, not the extent of its adoption or usage, that makes it an eggcorn.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by hsargent » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:42 pm

I learned of earcorn from WW I thought. I can not find this early thread to justify my learning. I never heard this verbalized.

I did look at the online dictionary and they do not have eggcorn or earcorn.

Eggcorn is in Wikipedia and not earcorn. Either word is rather ridiculous.

I was very fond of earcorn as an explanation for eaves versus ease-drop but it seems I have been mislead by some means.
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Signature: Harry Sargent

Re: Eggcorned

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:17 am

harry said:

I did look at the online dictionary and they do not have eggcorn or earcorn.
.. mate I can't understand why as the holy of holies has it ..
"Eggcorn" makes the OED
September 16, 2010 @ 12:26 pm · Filed by Ben Zimmer under Awesomeness, Eggcorns, Words words words

This is an auspicious moment: a Language Log-ism has been entered into the Oxford English Dictionary. The latest quarterly update for the online revision of the OED includes this note:
eggcorn n.

As early as 1844, people were reinterpreting the word “acorn” as “eggcorn”, either deliberately, for humorous purposes, or in all innocence, in a struggle to analyse, in a way that made sense to them, what the word’s spelling must be: acorns are, after all, seeds which are somewhat egg-shaped, and in many dialects the formations acorn and eggcorn sound very similar. Since 2003, it has become a widely accepted term for this category of words as a whole, appearing in books and journals, and on the internet, often alongside its musical sibling, the mondegreen or misheard lyric (which first appeared in the OED in 2002). As such, it has now become an autological word: one which belongs to the category it describes.
Here is the 1844 citation for eggcorn as a folk-etymological spelling of acorn:
1844 S. G. MCMAHAN Let. 16 June in A. L. Hurtado John Sutter (2006) 130, I hope you are as harty as you ust to be and that you have plenty of egg corn [acorn] bread which I cann not get her[e] and I hope to help you eat some of it soon.
And here is the second definition, with the quotation paragraph showing off its Language Log pedigree:
2. An alteration of a word or phrase through the mishearing or reinterpretation of one or more of its elements as a similar-sounding word.

In allusion to sense 1, which is an example of such an alteration.
2003 M. LIBERMAN Egg Corns: Folk Etymol., Malapropism, Mondegreen? (Update) in languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu (Weblog) 30 Sept. (O.E.D. Archive), Geoff Pullum suggests that if no suitable term already exists for cases like this, we should call them ‘egg corns’, in the metonymic tradition of ‘mondegreen’.
2004 Boston Globe (Nexis) 12 Dec. K5 Shakespeare's Hamlet said he was ‘to the manner born’, but the eggcorn ‘to the manor born’ has wide currency.
2006 New Scientist 26 Aug. 52/2 Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar or archaic word with a more common one, such as ‘old-timer's’ disease for Alzheimer's.
2010 K. DENHAM & A. LOBECK Linguistics for Everyone i. 13 Crucially, eggcorns make sense, often more than the original words.
There's already some grumbling about the wording of the definition. On the American Dialect Society listserv, Mark Peters points out "a gigantic omission":
The key element of an eggcorn is that it's a *logical* mistake–it has to make sense. That's what distinguishes it from a malapropism or mondegreen. When my mom calls carpal tunnel syndrome "carnal tunnel-vision syndrome," that's no eggcorn, because it makes no sense (it is awesome, though).
I agree with Mark: at least at Language Log Plaza and over at the Eggcorn Database, we've talked about eggcorns needing to "make sense in a new way" (even if that "sense" is a bit semantically tenuous). Mark does concede that "maybe 'reinterpretation' is supposed to cover the logic part," but it would be nice to have it a bit more spelled out.

Meanwhile, Neal Whitman muses:
For that matter, I have never found "eggcorn" to be satisfactorily distinguished from "folk etymology". Is a folk etymology an eggcorn that has become standard?
Eggcorns certainly don't need to be standard, or even on their way to standard. (The founding example, eggcorn, is, of course, resolutely non-standard.) Whether eggcorn carves out a meaningful territory distinct from folk etymology is open to debate, as it has been since that baptismal post in 2003. At the time, Mark Liberman wrote that the original example of egg( )corn "is not a folk etymology, because this is the usage of one person rather than an entire speech community." But folk etymology, construed broadly, can encompass this sort of idiosyncratic usage just as well as the more widespread alterations that lead to lasting diachronic change. For now, though, we won't quibble and instead will just bask in our lexicographical glory.

[Update: I neglected to mention that eggcorn is also in the latest edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary. The entry reads:
eggcorn n. a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one that sounds very similar or identical (e.g., tow the line instead of toe the line).
– ORIGIN early 21st cent.: with reference to a misinterpretation of acorn.
Source: Language Log
.. if you go to the LL site there is a whole range of comments ..

.. just a personal comment on the eggcorn v folk etymology debate .. I can't see any connection .. an eggcorn is simply a misheard > mispronounced word that a person genuinely uses when communicating .. this may be from ignorance or for comical effect .. there is no attempt at explaining why or where the word came from .. on the other hand folk etymology is the, often comical, attempt by people to explain the genesis of an idiom or word ..

.. Harry I could find no reference to your eggcorn of earcorn ..

WoZ eardropping on the acorns
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Eggcorned

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:42 am

.. if you really want to see what eggcorns are about then you should go and take a look at the Eggcorn Database .. so many examples given by people show that they do not understand what is required .. the start of an eggcorn is always a mishearing which then becomes the norm for the person .. when confronted with wrting the word then they will use the spelling of what they believe they heard ..

WoZ having a good laugh
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Eggcorned

Post by trolley » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:19 pm

Today, at work, one of my workers complained that I had "raped him over the coals". I feel horrible. I can't imagine how painful that must have been for him.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:17 pm

Does he have many bruises? If so, I can understand why he might be feeling violeted.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:34 am

Ee gods! Were the coals red hot?
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Eggcorned

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:42 am

He would presumably have been grateful for some cold coke.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:20 am

trolley wrote:Today, at work, one of my workers complained that I had "raped him over the coals". I feel horrible. I can't imagine how painful that must have been for him.
Sounds like gratuitous sacks.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by trolley » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:35 am

I have heard "undermind" used before as an eggcorn of undermine...
"I hate it when she underminds my authority!"
I love that one but today, it reached new heights...
"That was a sneaky and underminded trick."
Somehow, I can believe that.
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Re: Eggcorned

Post by trolley » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:02 pm

Today, at work, a fellow asked me what "The Rankin File" was...
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End of topic.
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