mishy-phens (was Re: FW: shock rock, cock rock)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sun Dec 12 06:09:41 UTC 2004

On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 22:35:29 -0500, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>

>>I knew "greaser" from the mid-late 60s in central Illinois (an area with
>>essentially zero Mexican visibility) and the usage seemed to be street
>On the subject of eggcorns, reanalyses, and loss of transparency--I
>can't help wondering who will be the first to spot this word
>hyphenated between the <o> and the <t>...

Nothing new under Google's sun.  The following reference appears, aptly
enough, in Elizabeth H. Stokoe's article, "Gender and discourse, gender
and categorization: current developments in language and gender research"
(_Qualitative Research in Psychology_ 2004; 1:107-129):

     Sacks, H., 1979: A revolutionary category: ho-
          trodder. In Psathas, G., editor, Everyday
          language: studies in ethnomethodology.
          New York, NY: Irvington.


Over on the alt.usage.english newsgroup they call these "mishy-phens", and
this a good one.  Of course, given the article's author and her topic,
there's the distinct possibility that this was an intentional mishy-phen.
(Harvey Sacks was definitely talking about "hot-rodders", by the way.)

Donna Richoux's collection of mishy-phens can be found here:


-- Ben Zimmer

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