April 23, 2006

An overature to the nucular family and the doctorial committee

About a year ago, I looked at some things that aren't eggcorns, but instead arise from some sort of morphological reanalysis that assimilates word structures to common morphological patterns -- in particular, the famous nucular, the well-known doctorial (in many lists of errors, including Paul Brians's Common Errors), and the less-known overature.  I've now accumulated more examples of all three types.

Along the way, I came across another type, so far illustrated only by the verb fellatiate, discussed in my first posting on the vocabulary of toadying.  Otherwise, we have the overature type, with -ature  for -ture; the nucular type, with medial -ul-; and the doctorial type, with -i- before a final Latinate suffix beginning with a vowel.

First, the overature.  Here there are quite a few, beginning with aperature for aperture, suggested to me by Coby Lubliner on 5/16/05:

I feel like opening up the larger aperature and closing the smaller one before proceding. ... For now waveguide opening is wall-of-microwave oven aperature. (link)

But also fixature, mixature, and strucature (I stopped searching at this point, since I was getting hits on almost everything I tried):

Dominic Heutelbeck is a fixature in the miniature painting community. (link)

Law of Partial Pressures (Dalton's Law): The total pressure exerted by a mixature of gases is the sum of the partial pressures of the individual gases. (link)

John Mills: "So i think 52 million it's there, we have to look at it and re-strucature county governement." (hint)

(The hits for fixature include many that are substitutes for fixative, but there are still plenty that are clearly substitutes for fixture.)

On to the nucular family.  Here we have perculate - perculation - perculator, esculate - esculation - esculator, nuptuals (pointed out on ADS-L by Alison Murie on 3/3/06 and discussed at some length thereafter), jubulant (offered by Victoria Neufeldt on ADS-L on 3/7/06), and simular(ity).  A few examples, from enormous numbers that can be Googled up):

Also this perculator graces the counter with its beautiful old-fashioned design ... Farberware Cordless 12-Cup Perculator is the best of the past with the ... (link)

Now the violence will esculate as you go blow for blow attack for attack and you have lowered yourself to the lowest common denominator and therfore have no ... (link)

Wedding Advice You Must Have Before Planning Nuptuals
A tiny fascinating book you must read before planning a wedding. The compiled experience from many years as a wedding planner. (link)

Atop his warhorse, he trotted up through Haraguchi Kenichi's men (all of them bloody, dirty, and oddly jubulant) ignoring the men as he passed by. (link)

I suppose I might be able to use a less accurate algorithm and use a simularity matching algorithm like Levenshtein distance on the smaller set. (link)

Finally, the doctorial committee: mischievious (in Brians), grievious (in Brians), and intravenious(ly), all with -ous; pastorial (in Brians), and pectorials, with -al, like doctorial; galiant (reported on ADS-L by Matthew Gordon and discussed at some length thereafter, since it might be a blend of gallant and valiant), with -ant; and similiar(ity), with -ar.  A few examples:

Mischievious cartoons from the CartoonStock directory - the world's largest on-line collection of cartoons. (link)

My sin, guilt, grievious errors, or hatreds associated with the knots, that lay deep within my conscience. (link)

He was an intravenious drug user and a homosexual. He was a great guy, and I will never forget him. (link)

Pastorial Care. The primary principle of the College Charter states that:. "The needs of the children and their learning shall be paramount." (link)

Other muscles used include abdominals, back, shoulders and arms (including deltoids, pectorials and biceps). (link)

The 7th and last match was a galiant effort by the little Moxies, ... Despite a galiant effort by Teresa's team, Barb's team display of scrappy defense and ... (link)

Programs Similiar To GeekLog...?  (link)

The ADS-L discussion of galiant noted that gal(l)iant was a fairly common version of this word in the 19th century, but it seems unlikely to me that the modern examples are merely continuations of this usage.

Throughout these examples, we see reshapings of Latinate words to conform to common morphophonological patterns in the language.  No doubt there are plenty more out there.  New ones come by every few weeks.

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at April 23, 2006 01:41 PM