July 20, 2004

Causing us the game

Russell Lee-Goldman (Kantol) at Every Way but One documents a conversion experience. The scales fell from his eyes when he caught himself saying something like "That was what caused us the game" (in place of the standard "cost us the game"), and found that the same (mis)analysis has occurred to others, for instance:

(link) Although the Lady Broncos scored one run in the first inning, they left bases loaded coming out of it, which could have caused them the game if it were not for many plays falling their way in the later innings.

As he points out, the re-analysis retains more phonetic similarity in the past tense, and so you can even find examples like

(link) Tim Duncan did not get the ball as much as Pop wanted him too, and I believe it caused the Spurs the game, and it will eventually cost them the series.


However, there are definitely future-tense and other bare-form versions of this eggcorn around:

(link) Being over confident can also cause you the game.
(link) And this movie will cause them the election and that's why this morning you hear so much chatter about cancelling the elections.
(link) I don't think we should elect judges because then they will constantly worry that their choices will cause them the next election.

There are even -ing forms:

(link) Honorable Mentions: The two guys who took the elevator from the 7th floor to the 6th, Howard from Wake Forest for calling a timeout he didnt have causing them the game, and finally Jason Williams for choking against an unranked team and causing them their only chance at co-owning the ACC championship.

Russell's change of heart? He was converted to the view that eggcorns are interesting enough to blog about. At least once.


Posted by Mark Liberman at July 20, 2004 09:18 AM