[Ads-l] "white-color" as eggcorn

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 6 15:57:28 UTC 2014

Inspired by a contributor's cite in Michael Quinion's World Wide Words column of a reference to "white-color defense lawyers", I Googled "white-color crime" and sure enough there are quite a number of examples, including some from actual criminology texts (a.k.a. non-fiction novels).  It's not in the eggcorn database, but it does pop up in one of the forums at http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=193.

Here are a few additional cites I found:

Developing a structure for consideration of the crime-victim-harm can be a starting point for policy analysis, action priority development, and marshalling the tools of social sciences for valuable and helpful research on white-color crime.

Methods of deterring white-color crime that rely on the punishment of individual offenders to deter other would-be violators

Recognizing the problems are real, no one questions why similar 'exclusion' zones are not associated with 'white color' crime, meth labs, shop-lifting rings, and etc. [sic]

I do find the following one rather puzzling.  In a response to CandyLane5's subject query "Who has committed White Color Crime???" on the message board for "The Young and the Restless", PPorter nominates Kevin, on the following grounds:

He raped Lily, he kidnapped and tried to kill Colleen, he trashed the loft and he was stocking Britany for awhile. When Kevin first came on the Young and the Restless and we found out what 'scum' he is...he admitted to Michael that he did give Lily an STD and he showed Michael the Anti-botic for it.

Doesn't sound particularly white-collary to me; maybe for PPorter the term really does refer to white-color crime, assuming Kevin satisfies the relevant racial profiling.  (Note the "stocking" too--the Northern Cities Vowel Shift strikes again!)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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