incidence for incident--eggcorn or confusion?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 9 18:54:05 UTC 2009

This afternoon on MSNBC a news reader talked the ongoing piracy
incidence of the coast of Somalia, referring to the incident involve
the Danish ship Maersk Alabama.  I've heard and seen the word used in
this way frequently, and also the plural "incidences" to mean separate
specific occurrences of some event.  The meanings and morphology are
close enough that the confusion isn't surprising, and I suspect that
suggests that it's not really an eggcorn.  To see if Arnold has
discussed it anywhere is Googled "incidences Zwicky."  There were a
few hits with both words occurring, more often the physicist Zwicky
rather than the linguist Zwicky.  However there was also a sponsored
site that came up in the righthand frame,, a site for
designing avatars.  Google has a fascinating word-match algorithm.


The American Dialect Society -

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