Eggcorn: tract vs. track

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue May 2 16:22:19 UTC 2006

There is a nice example of this in "track house" (for tract house,
housing); it works even semantically since such housing is thought to
be close to (but on the wrong side of) the tracks.


>At 10:01 AM 5/2/2006, you 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 graduate
>>>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 thinks
>>>of the definition of something relatively small and separate from other
>>>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.)
>>"tenure tract" and "tract lighting" are not unknown either, and I've
>>encountered shifts in the opposite direction too:  "digestive track"
>>and the like are quite common.
>>The American Dialect Society -
>"Tenure tract" has even been used by members of my department, alas.  (I've
>always been the unofficial proofreader for our documents, but what will
>happen now that I've retired?!?)
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
preston at

The American Dialect Society -

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