Eggcorn
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Eggcorn

In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms). The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease".[1] An eggcorn can be described as an intra-lingual phono-semantic matching, a matching in which the intended word and substitute are from the same language.

Etymology

The term eggcorn was coined by professor of linguistics Geoffrey Pullum in September 2003 in response to an article by Mark Liberman on the website Language Log, a blog for linguists.[2] Liberman discussed the case of a woman who substitutes the phrase egg corn for the word acorn, and he argued that the precise phenomenon lacked a name. Pullum suggested using eggcorn itself as a label.

Similar phenomena

An eggcorn differs from a malapropism, the latter being a substitution that creates a nonsensical phrase. Classical malapropisms generally derive their comic effect from the fault of the user, while eggcorns are substitutions that exhibit creativity, logic[3] or ignorance.[4] Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar, archaic, or obscure word with a more common or modern word ("baited breath" for "bated breath").[5]

The phenomenon is similar to the form of wordplay known as the pun except that, by definition, the speaker or writer intends the pun to have some humorous effect on the recipient, whereas one who speaks or writes an eggcorn is often unaware.[6]

It is also similar to, but differs from, a mondegreen or a folk etymology.[7]

Examples

See also

References

  1. ^ "eggcorn n.". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (fifth ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2011. ISBN 0-547-04101-2.
  2. ^ Erard, Michael (June 20, 2006). "Analyzing Eggcorns and Snowclones, and Challenging Strunk and White". The New York Times. p. 4. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b Peters, Mark (March-April 2006). "Word Watch: The Eggcorn - Lend Me Your Ear". Psychology Today. 39 (2): 18. Archived from the original on 2006-07-09. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Katy Steinmetz (30 May 2015). "This Is What 'Eggcorns' Are (and Why They're Jar-Droppingly Good)". Time.
  5. ^ Staff (2006-08-26). "The word: Eggcorns". New Scientist. p. 52. Retrieved .LexisNexis link
  6. ^ Zwicky, Arnold (2 Nov 2003). "LADY MONDEGREEN SAYS HER PEACE ABOUT EGG CORNS".
  7. ^ Pullum, Geoffrey K (October 27, 2003). "Phrases for lazy writers in kit form". Language Log. Retrieved 2007.
  8. ^ "expatriate » expatriot". The Eggcorn Database. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "intents and purposes » intensive purposes". The Eggcorn Database. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "pray » prey". The Eggcorn Database. Retrieved .

Further reading

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Eggcorn
 



 



 
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