April 09, 2007

Eggcorn news flashes

It's only Monday and it's already been a good week for eggcorns, media-attention-wise. On Sunday, Jan Freeman of the Boston Globe devoted her weekly language column to "Wanton Eggcorns." The column was inspired by a post by the enigmatic Mr. Verb about an NHL announcer saying "as they are wanton to do" instead of "as they are wont to do." After discussing this substitution along with provenance for province and pot marks for pock marks, Freeman asks readers to send in eggcorns from their own personal collections.

And today, the BBC Radio 4 program "Word of Mouth" features an interview with Michael Quinion and me on the subject of eggcorns on both sides of the Atlantic. You can hear the segment on the show's website, at least for the next week. (Click on "Listen to the latest edition" — the segment starts about 21 minutes in.) In the original interview I made sure to plug Chris Waigl's indispensable Eggcorn Database (and the lively forum), but that part sadly remained on the cutting room floor. Anyone searching for further eggcornological enlightenment should head over there pronto.

[Update: I've archived the "Word of Mouth" interview here.]

Posted by Benjamin Zimmer at April 9, 2007 09:34 PM