eggcorn dynamics

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Tue Aug 25 15:13:02 UTC 2009

On Aug 24, 2009, at 7:18 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      eggcorn dynamics
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Interesting eggcorn dynamics when it comes to extending them. I came
> across a comment that included "backpeddler":
>>> So, it looks like President BarelyCare is an olympic level
>>> backpeddler.
> There are actually a handful of these popping up on conservative blogs
> in reference to Obama.
> Urban Dictionary has an entry for "backpedaler". I found nothing in
> other on-line dictionaries. Checking Google, you get 79000+ raw ghits
> for "backpeddler" and only 4900+ raw ghits for "backpedaler". But,
> looking up the verbs paints a different picture:
> 233000 for "backpedal" and 39800 for "backpeddle" (complete with "Did
> you mean _backpedal_?"
> I wonder how often that happens. I have no clue as to why the derived
> noun would end up more scrambled than the verb. Looking up just
> peddle(r)/pedal(r), gives some unexpected numbers, but I am not sure
> they explain the derivatives:
> 4.7 mil for pedal
> 0.93 mil for pedaler
> 1.47 mil for peddle
> 1.73 mil for peddler
> ==
> On a different eggcorn subject: hail/hale is a fairly common eggcorn
> in
> both media and law (as in "hailed into court"). But I just found a
> printed example of it in Wolfson's Life of Spinoza (2nd ed., original
> edition 1932). That was quite unexpected.
>   VS-)
I wonder of the variant spelling, "pedlar," doesn't somehow contribute
to this confusion.  I know I have to stammer a bit in my mind over

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