February 15, 2005

Eggcorn database

Chris Waigl of Serendipity has announced a database full of eggcorns. You can search, browse, and read about the history of the term and of her collection. It's a good idea and an elegant implementation.

And Kelly wrote in this morning with another contribution: parody for parity, in talk about sports leagues.

"Where is the parody? NFL playoff teams pretty much the same as last year."
""I've heard a lot of different sports anchors, jouralists and reporters pose the question: which is better for sports, parody througout the league or dominance by one or a few teams?"

This one might better be considered a misspelling type of classical malapropism, though, since the substituted word doesn't seem to have a semantic justification, nor is there a re-analysis of part of a word or phrase. Chris' about page explains why the term "eggcorn" was invented in the first place, and what some of the alternative kinds of lexical substitutions are.

[Update: Linda Seebach writes in with a link to a post by Erin O'Connor entitled "Malapropisms and other fun things". As Linda observes, many of the fun things that Erin describes (in a quotation from Susanna Moore's In the Cut or in her own voice) are examples of what we would call eggcorns, including for example "autumn furlage", and diseases such as "very close veins" and "Screaming Mighty Jesus" (for "cerebral meningitis"). ]


Posted by Mark Liberman at February 15, 2005 07:07 AM