An almost eggcorn

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Aug 16 15:58:36 UTC 2009

On Aug 15, 2009, at 11:26 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> I originally typed
> "And have to check cross-references and probably other thinks that
> don't come immediately to mind."
> but caught myself in time to change to "things". (K and G are
> different hands when I type.)

surely just a routine typo, which happens to involve words that also
occur in a famous eggcorn.  (not perhaps the most ordinary of typos;
the most common typing errors involve letters on adjacent keys, or on
corresponding keys in the two hands.  then there are errors, in
writing as well as typing, of anticipation, perseveration, omission,
transposition, and the like.  and completion errors, in which you
start spelling a word and shift to partway through to another, usually
more frequent, word.)

"thinks" for "things" seems to be a moderately common error:


   I think her ONLY reason was to gain as much publicity as possible
for herself. What do they say:? Any publicity is good, even bad
publicity. she is an arrogant female !!! lets hope people have only
good thinks to say about her, after her death !!! I doubt it! [re
Germaine Greer on Princess Diana]

   A lot of thinks to ask!

these are errors, but probably not simple typos (or, for that matter,
word retrieval errors).  or at least not all of them.  they are more
likely to be (mostly) spelling confusions, perhaps induced by a
similarity in the pronunciations of "thing" and "think".  there are,
in fact, errors in the opposite direction:

   It seems to me that he things that he is larger than the game, like
the game owes him something. Is he the biggest draw on the PGA right

   I don't know, I thing that Bart isn't dead and the relationsheep
between Rufus and Lily will broke-up and with this… Serena and Dan can
made again a couple. ...

    i thing that there is something missing, ...

i have to say that i was surprised at the number of "thing"/"think"
errors there are out there.  of course it's hard to say what went on
in particular instances.


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