earlobe > earlope

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sun Aug 2 20:21:44 UTC 2009

In a local beauty magazine I happened to pick up from a seat in the
subway today, I saw an article on earlobes that had "EARLOPE" in the
article title and all headings but "earlobe" in the text -- evidently
whoever handled the headings etc. in the editing or layout process
thought the word was earlobe but also didn't notice or didn't change
the usage in the article, and evidently the magazine doesn't have
copyeditors and proofreaders to catch little things like that.

I didn't recall seeing "earlope" before. But it gets more than 11,000
hits on Google. I'm not inclined to think of this as an eggcorn, as
there's nothing about the appendage that's more loping than
lobe-like. I wonder if the voiceless version is felt to be more
common, more proper, or what.

James Harbeck.

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

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