strum up support

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 17 20:12:18 UTC 2008

At 11:53 AM -0800 2/17/08, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>>one of the things that makes eggcorns so interesting is the fact that
>>the clear examples *make sense* (to at least some people), so that
>>people are willing to defend their versions.  but the fact is that
>>their versions are not the ones that most other people use.  that is,
>>the reason that X is dispreferred is just that most other people use
>>something other than X.  there's nothing especially deep going on here.
>>when you use an eggcorn, various things can happen: the people you're
>>talking to might share the eggcorn, so there's no problem; they might
>>silently and unconsciously "correct" it (in effect, "hearing" their
>>usage instead of yours); they might take you to be being playful or
>>creative with language; they might balk at it for a moment and then
>>work out what you're trying to say, perhaps putting your usage down to
>>a dialect difference, or perhaps judging your usage to be simply
>>incorrect; or they might grind to an uncomprehending halt
>>(fortunately, this last possibility seems to be pretty rare).
>Thank you and others for the detailed explanation. I was wondering
>because some (like "for all intense purposes") do have a reason.

I think the usual eggcorn is "for all intensive purposes", preserving
the metrical structure of the original.


>it seems to simply be a case of the traditionally preferred item. BB
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list