bizarre typos

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Nov 25 07:14:55 UTC 2009

This looks like an eggcorn, except that it doesn't make sense. Instead of "eggcorn," maybe "achecorn."

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 24, 2009, at 9:49 PM, victor steinbok wrote:

> Through a friend's post on Facebook (actually, another friend's
> comment on a post), I picked up the combination "through think and
> thin". Given the authors penchant for typos, I had assumed it to be a
> simple typo. But it also bugged me enough to do a search for the
> phrase--it got 18K raw hits. While a handful of hits were incidental
> (e.g., including "..., I think, and thin ..."), the majority do look
> like "You're suppose to support your side through think and thin."
> Another handful (quite literally--about half-dozen) of hits are
> references to the lyrics of a particular song that includes the phrase
> as a play on words. But that hardly accounts for 18000 hits.
> Whatever one may think, I would not argue that this either a 1)
> eggcorn or 2) cupertino effect. Rather, it belongs to a different
> class of errors that creep up on us while we type *without* automatic
> correction. It is a classic word substitution based on frequency--a
> sort of "chunking" that makes us type a word without much thought,
> only to realize later that the word was completely irrelevant, even
> though it shares a few initial literals with the desired gloss. I
> catch myself doing this kind of "automatic pilot" typing with some
> non-trivial frequency (and may be responsible for a substantial
> fraction of the instances of the common word choice errors, such as
> their/there). Your mileage may vary, of course--just because I don't
> think it has a plausible eggcornish derivation or the cupertino
> selection might be too complicated does not mean that everyone has to
> agree with me. But I thought it was worth mentioning at least once.
> Next time you are typing and catch yourself slipping in an incorrect
> word "on automatic pilot" you'll know what I am trying to say here.
> VS-)

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