January 28, 2005

Defecated to eggcorn fans everywhere

The numbers are too small to award this one eggcorn status. And it's also not very eggcorny since it's not clear that the mistakes are a matter of reanalysis. But what it lacks in frequency and linguistic sophistication, this double malapropism makes up for in appeal to that small but important segment of the Language Log audience that shares my puerile, not to say scatalogical, sense of humor.

Many of the Google hits are for intentional defacate/dedicate and defacate/defect replacements, but genuine unintentional productions do seem to occur:

Nowadays tourists visiting Hoa Lu could only see two temples some 500m apart from each other, standing in the ground of the ancient palaces: One was defecated to King Dinh Tien Hoang and the other to King Le Dai Hanh.
(Image of temple)

Aerobatic ship defecated to a great supplier of scale sailplanes Endless Mountain Models

(pic of ASH26E model plane here)

But Saddam reminds me of the little boy who cried wolf too often. Recall that once Mustafa (his son-in-law who was head of the secret police) defecated to Jordan and reported on the Nuclear Bomb program that Saddam had up to then successfully hidden from the UN. Hmm, what we didn't know...

[Frank Delaney] remembers the night his father came home "hugely amused" because a local man had asked him why he thought Burgess and Maclean had defecated to the Russians.

[Update: gee, I'm getting confused by our own terminology now. First time I posted this I wrote snowclone when I meant eggcorn. Snowcorn? Presumably, a historically incorrect reanalysis of a standard idiom-like template. Or vice versa.]

Posted by David Beaver at January 28, 2005 12:36 PM