Fwd: "fuse box" eggcorn?

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 4 08:45:50 UTC 2009

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Max Heiman
> Date: May 3, 2009 7:59:52 PM PDT
> To: zwicky at stanford.edu
> Subject: "fuse box" eggcorn?
> I thought I'd pass the following along.  News coverage of the recent
> air force flyover of downtown Manhattan referred to the situation as
> having "turned into a political fuse box," an expression I've never
> heard and which doesn't make much sense to me.  (I think of a fuse
> box like a relief valve, a device to keep things from blowing up.
> Perhaps the writer meant it like a crackling, high-voltage
> situation?)  The only google hits I get for "political fuse box" or
> "turned into a * fuse box" are copies of the same single article.
> Do you have any guess whether this is an eggcorn (and for what) or a
> nonce coinage?  I'm just curious.  The article is here http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/air-force-one-backup-rattles-new-york-nerve/

puzzling to me.  "fuse bomb' is close to 'fuse box", but doesn't make
much more sense to me.  "flash point" makes more sense, but is
phonologically very far from "fuse bomb".

(the authors of the article are A. G. Sulzberger -- yes, the son of
the publisher -- and Matthew L. Wald.)


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