[Ads-l] undo/undue

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Dec 25 19:00:06 UTC 2015

I'm perplexed!  I entered both "undue" and "undo" in the search box of the Eggcorn Database--and no results appeared for either!

Anyhow:  In addition to the 7,100 RGHs for "undue the damage," there are 3,500 for "undue the harm" and 21,000 for "undue the effect(s)"


---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: undo/undue

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":


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