Eggcorns? We don't need no stinkin' eggcorns

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Sep 15 19:14:21 UTC 2007

Michael Quinion in his current World Wide Words (#552, 15 Sep.)
reproduces this gem, courtesy of his correspondent Rick Larson:

In an article by Jennifer Ferguson about beers in the 6 September
issue of Buzz Weekly, the student newspaper of the University of
Illinois, appears this: "The ol' factory system has a lot to do
with taste." ...

Googling the full form, ["old factory system" + smell], I found these
related instances of this redolent eggcorn:

This is garbage, smell this! An ambrosial delight for the old factory system.
[Comment on young woman wearing T-shirt with "HIPPIES SMELL" legend]
Either that or hippies smell stuff. Unlike her. She's probably coked
out her entire old factory system and would probably not smell the
house burning down,...
My old factory system is so strong that I can smell my own boogers!

and this one, my favorite, from a transcript of the discussion at a
Stanford colloquium:

I was fascinated by something I read in a science magazine a while
ago, the old factory system is something that is used to make our
neurons grow the right place when we are forming. It smells its ways
to your fingertips. How do we put our factory nodes into this so that
the neurons will smell their way to the right place?

(I like the way it's reduced to "our factory system" on the second
mention, since after all there's no *new* factory system to contrast
with it.)


The American Dialect Society -

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