Two cards in succession in the Art of Instruction set: acorns and arums, both visually similar to human genitals, a fact recognized in some of the common names for the plants.
Archive for the ‘Eggcorns’ Category
From the (Palo Alto) Daily News of October 4th, this letter from Tejinder Uberoi of Los Altos:
Unconcerned that the nation is going to hell in a hen basket, the tired old men of the Republican Party are circling the wagons in a last-ditch effort to defund the Affordable Care Act.
Hen basket (or henbasket) for handbasket (or hand basket), making somewhat more sense of an opaque idiom (opaque for people who aren’t familiar with the compound handbasket) whose only virtue appears to be its alliteration; well, you collect eggs in a basket. Still, such a basket is awfully small for going to hell in, as is a handbasket.
An assortment of short notes that have come my way recently, on errors, back-formations, penguins, gender roles, and more.
Just went past me on KFJC (Foothill College in Los Altos Hills CA), in an aural montage, this exchange from the 2007 movie Blades of Glory:
Chazz: Mind-bottling, isn’t it?
Jimmy: Did you just say mind-bottling?
Chazz: Yeah, mind-bottling. You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle? (link)
A lovely eggcorn for mind-boggling (noted on the Eggcorn Forum, but not yet in the database), complete with the mark of a great eggcorn find, the speaker’s rationalization for the form they use.
From Victor Steinbok on ADS-L, a link to a HuffPost Comedy posting with this photograph:
Reported this morning by Mike Jankulak from a mailing list he’s subscribed to:
Also Ryan, I had sent you a question on the other group in hope you might have some perils of wisdom to share there.
(Perils of wisdom for pearls of wisdom.) In context, this doesn’t seem intentional, but the question is what sort of unintentional error it represents: an eggcorn, a mishearing, a simple misspelling, or what? These things are often hard to decide, and the perpetrators might or might not be able to shed light on things. And of course the source of one occurrence might be different from the sources of others.
Back on December 5, Lynne Murphy reported in Facebook about an essay-marking game — drinking a shot of liquor or eating something whenever a particular expression occurred in a student essay:
‘concordance’ to mean ‘example found in a corpus’, as in ‘COCA has three concordances of this collocation’.
… I’ve read this so many times, that I actually looked it up to see if this terminology was polysemous in ways I had not yet appreciated.
(No evidence for it I could find in dictionaries.)
So an error, but what kind? Mishearing (of occurrences)? Classical malapropism (perhaps as a result of learning the technical term concordance)? Eggcorn? Examples like this can be remarkably hard to classify.