eggcorn candidate: "center meters"

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 18 03:18:08 UTC 2009

I'm not sure, but I suspect that even in BrE there would be stresses
on the first syllables of "center" and "meter."  But aside from that,
"center meter" meets one criterion for eggcornity, that a part of a
word that isn't immediately transparent is replace by something that
is, but it doesn't meet the condition that the eggcornage should make
some relevant sense.


> As in this exchange on WikiAnswers:
> Q: How many center meters is 3 foot?
> A:  1 foot = 30.48cm
>       30.48 X 3 = 91.44cm
> Other questions from the first page of the about 11,500 g-hits for
> "center meters":
> How Many Center Meters R There In An Inch?
> How Big is the Equator in Center Meters?
> Another 52,500 hits for the singular "center meter", as in
> "center meter to inch" conversion tables, "How many millimeters equal
> one center meter", and so on.
> True, many of these hits are irrelevant ("Government Center Meters",
> "Bryan Center Meter Lot",...), but many seem to be clear instances of
> eggcornish reanalyses, facilitated by the fact that centimeters are
> more likely to be used in the largely non-rhotic U.K., where
> "centimeter" and "center meter" are pretty much homophones.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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