eggcorns? semantic drift?

JAMES A. LANDAU Netscape. Just the Net You Need. JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Thu Jan 31 01:38:26 UTC 2008

The following two items I received from Dick Sims of the New England Science Fiction Association sometime back in the early 1980's.

The first one is credited as "taken from actual letters of application for support which were received by the local Welfare Department in Baltimore, MD."

1. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and six children. I have seven but one died which was baptized on a half sheet of paper.
2. I am writing the Welfare Department to say that my boy was born 2 years old.
When do I get my money?
3. Mrs. Jones has not had any clothes for a year and has been visited regularly
by the clergy.
4. I cannot get sick pay. I have six children. Can you tell me why?
5. I am glad to report that my husband who was missing is dead.
6. This is my 8th child. What are you going to do about it?
7. Please find for certain if my husband is dead. The man I am now living with can't eat or do anything till he knows.
8. I am very much annoyed to find you have branded my son illiterate. This is a dirty lie as I was married a week before he was born.
9. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and three children, one of which is a mistake as you can see.
10. In answer to your letter, I have given birth to a boy weighing 10 pounds. I hope this is satisfactory.
11. Unless I get my husband's money pretty soon, I will be forced to live an immortal life.
12. You have changed my little boy to a girl. Will this make any difference.
13. I have no children yet as my husband is a truck driver and works day and night.
14. In accordance with your instructions, I have given birth to twins in the enclosed envelope.
15. I want my money as quick as I can get it. I've been in bed with the doctor for two weeks and he doesn't do me any good. If things don't improve, I will have to send for another doctor.

The second one is pure spoof, in a genre which someone told me is called "Robert to Bob":

In the beginning was The Plan, and then The Assumptions;
And The Plan was without form, and The Assumptions were void;
And the darkness was upon the faces of the implementers;
And they spake unto their manager, saying:
        "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh";

And the manager went to the 2nd level manager; and he spake unto him, saying:
         "It is a crock of excrement, and none may abide by the odor thereof";

And the 2nd level manager went to the 3rd level manager, and he spake unto him, saying:
         "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none  may abide before it";

And the 3rd level manager went to the headquarters director, and he spake unto him, saying:
         "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength";

And the director went to the division vice-president, and he spake unto him, saying:
         "It contains that which aids plant growth, and is very strong";

And the vice-president went to the division president, and he spake unto him, saying:
         "It promoteth growth, and it is very powerful";

And the division president went before the executive board, and he spake unto them, saying:
          "This powerful new plan will promote the growth of the company";

And the executive board looked upon the plan, and saw that it was good ...

           James A. Landau
           test engineer
           Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
           8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
           West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society -

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