Eggcorn: tract vs. track

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 2 14:13:22 UTC 2006

At 6:49 AM -0700 5/2/06, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>On May 2, 2006, at 5:46 AM, David Bowie wrote:
>>I've got a potential eggcorn, though it's probably already been noted
>>somewhere: I just got final projects in from the students in my
>>class, and one of them consistently writes about "tracts" within the
>>English major in her introduction.
>>We have "tracks" in our English major here--creative writing, tech
>>writing, literature, rhet/comp--but "tracts" makes sense, if one
>>of the definition of something relatively small and separate from
>>tracts in the area. (I'll try to find out if that's actually what she
>>was thinking when she wrote it if i see her around.)
>tract >> track is very common, and has been entered in the eggcorn
>in the other direction (the one david bowie is talking about), we
>have only one comment, citing "keep tract", but (as yet) no entry.

as I noted a few minutes ago, it's not that uncommon (although less
likely than tract>>track).  I first came across "tenure tract" in the
wild in the late 1980s (I included it thenceforth on my folk
etymology handouts), but I see several hundred cites on google,
including some actual job postings.  (Not in linguistics, though.)
"Tract lighting", presumably suitable for tract houses, is also not


>please do check with the student.
>ron butters, don't you have a collection of these?
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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