A torcherous eggcorn

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Dec 13 04:08:03 UTC 2007

>As for re-analysis, I have encountered at least two very sensible
>explanations or rationalisations of the "phase" spelling:

I had just assumed that, since people don't see "faze" spelled out
much (and many people seem to have poor memories for unusual words,
especially their spellings), "phase" was used because it was the
common spelling that had that sound. I imagine most people wouldn't
stop to think much about how "phase" comes to have another meaning
like that, since English isn't short on multivalent words. But I
suppose many, if pressed, would conjure up a justification such as
"out of phase" or something like that entirely post facto.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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