A torcherous eggcorn

Michael H Covarrubias mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU
Thu Dec 13 18:02:18 UTC 2007

Quoting "Arnold M. Zwicky":

re: faze > phase

> i'm not at all convinced that it
> should even be labeled an eggcorn; i have trouble seeing a semantic
> motive for the replacement.  if not, it's a simple spelling mistake.

I've always figured the reanalysis was based on the sense of phase as a passing
state. Combine that with 'this is just a phase' meaning 'this is a bad time' --
do a little verbing -- and to be 'phased' becomes 'to be put into a temporary
state of confusion or discomfort'

Maybe that can borrow from or add to the influence of 'to phase out' adding to
the sense of 'phased' as a type of emotional or intellectual syncope where you
tend to mentally flatline or just 'fade' from normal functioning for a moment.

So I get kicked in the head or I'm verbally abused. But I'm not --put into a
phase/ --phasing out/ --phased.

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

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