[Ads-l] undo/undue

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 25 05:10:41 UTC 2015


On Thu, Dec 24, 2015 at 11:44 AM, Charles C Doyle wrote:
>
> In an appendix to the adolescent novel _Killer Species_, by Michale P.
> Spradlin (NY: Scholastic) [p. 228], I encountered this sentence:  "But
> working to undue the damage already caused by Dr. Catalyst is a big
> job."  The book, we may assume, has been professionally edited;
> Scholastic is a highly prestigious publisher of fiction for children and
> teenagers.
>
> The phrase "undue the damage" gets some 7,100 RGHs.  It is not
> exactly an eggcorn, since the "due" element itself doesn't seem to
> have any semantic applicability.  It's just a pronunciation-misspelling
> (in some dialects).

Whether it's an eggcorn or not, Larry reported a rather steamy example
of "undo" -> "undue" back in '05, as noted by Arnold in a comment on
the ECDB entry for "undue" -> "undo":

http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/343/undo/

--bgz

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