Is this an eggcorn?

Bill Palmer w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET
Tue Apr 28 16:30:58 UTC 2009

thank you Mark.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Mandel" <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: Is this an eggcorn?

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Is this an eggcorn?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Bill Palmer <w_a_palmer at>
> wrote:
>> I just listened to a presentation in which the speaker advocated =
>> eliminating the "astigmatisms" associated with developmental =
>> disabilities.
>> Bill Palmer
> Not an eggcorn, since it doesn't involve the reanalysis of a word or
> phrase into a similar-sounding phrase that seems to make better sense
> -- like "acorn" > "eggcorn", in dialects where "egg" has the same
> vowel as the "a" in "acorn".
> This is just a malapropism. In fact, the origin is the same. The Greek
> root "stig-" in stizein 'to prick, puncture' (cognate to "stick"),
> yielding the Gk. word "stigma" 'point; mark made by a pointed
> instrument; brand' (OED).
> English "stigma" reflects the second or third sense as 'A mark made
> upon the skin by burning with a hot iron (rarely, by cutting or
> pricking), as a token of infamy or subjection; a brand. Also
> figurative'.
> "Astigmatism" is morphologically literally 'the condition of being
> without a point'. When I look at the clear night sky without my
> glasses, the stars are blurred splotches instead of points.
> --
> Mark Mandel
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