perils of wisdom

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.

The error came up on the Eggcorn Forum last year (4/26/12) in a comment from Peter Forster, who found two similar examples:

Check out top 10 fundraising tips and hear more perils of wisdom with our full fundraising guide. You can also chat to fellow travellers about your fundraising …

I gave the fawn some perils of wisdom like look both ways before crossing any street. But I guess it was too much for it and when I turned my …

And on 4/28/12 David Bird unearthed two examples that he saw as most likely simple misspellings:

One year I really spent up big and got my wife a black peril necklace

Her jewelry was a black peril necklace with ruby stud earrings.

Beyond these, there are quite a few ghits that are clearly intentional humor, in particular the books Perils of Wisdom by Thomas William and Perils of Wisdom II by Bill Halligan — both collections of epigrams and the like.

Finally, there are sites warning about the dangers of knowledge, another sense of perils of wisdom. (A little learning is a dangerous thing.) You have to look at the context.


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