Not-quite-homophonic errors

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Dec 9 13:23:14 UTC 2002

Yes, the word for this so-called substitution or error (sic) is
"Standard English," although I understand that in some recalcitrant
dialect areas they distinguish between /E/ and /I/ before nasals.


Is there an official name for the type of verbal error where a person
substitutes a nearly homophonic word for the correct word, such as a person
writing "eminent" when they mean "imminent"?



Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
      Asian & African Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
e-mail: preston at
phone: (517) 353-9290

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