February 08, 2006

Hellaciously fellatious

E-mail correspondent Bill Findlay recently came across this occurrence of fellatious in a web discussion of Intelligent Design:

To: Bellflower

"Don't bible at me in public school". Actually it has certain rhythm to it and could be made into a song line. Designer is not logical - for who/what then had designed that designer? In logic it is called "reductio ad infinitum", and such arguments are fellatious.

[posted on 01/06/2006 9:42:29 PM PST by GSlob]

Perhaps GSlob meant to say, in a tasteful way, that such arguments suck monkey dick, big time.  (By the way, "suck monkey dick" gets 1,460 raw Google webhits this morning, and "sucks monkey dick" another 1,290.  All the occurrences are, of course, both metaphorical and disparaging; no monkeys or blowjobs are involved, even in the forum where the proposition that "gay people suck monkey dick" was under discussion.)  Somehow I doubt it; could GSlob be that clever?

Findlay wondered if it was an eggcorn.  But it's hard to imagine that someone who can call up a reference to the reductio ad infinitum would fail to connect the adjective in question to the noun fallacy and instead hit on fellatio as the related noun.

Fond though I am of eggcorns, my guess is that GSlob is just not a very good speller; sometimes this is all that's going on.  There is a pattern of noun stems ending in ac (+y) related to adjective stems in at (democracy-democratic), so you might guess that the adjective stem related to fallacy works this way too.  Independently, there's a considerable tendency, which I reported on in "Toadying 3", to spell the first vowel in fallacious with an e instead of an a: fellacious.  (I find this astonishing, but there it is.)  Put these two spelling errors together, and you get the entertaining fellatious

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at February 8, 2006 02:26 PM