Eggcorn: carousel >> carousal
djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Tue Sep 15 10:38:09 UTC 2009
On another list this week, the following was posted:
I've got a number of MP3 audio files I'd like to listen to without
having to click them on one by one.
Is there any kind of a music carousal built into XP?
>From the context, and as was also made clear by further messages in the
thread, the sender meant 'carousel'. A classic eggcorn, it seems to me:
- Phonologically / graphically, the similarities are obvious, though the
different stress-patterns of the two words do make it slightly unusual:
most eggcorn-pairs share the same stress pattern, and yet I'm not aware
that anyone pronounces these two words other than as _carousal_ with medial
stress and _carousel_ with either initial or final stress, but not medial.
This entails a difference in the middle vowel of the words.
- Semantically, the poster was searching for something that would make his
musical tracks follow one another round (play in a loop), ie a _carousel_
(cf OED sense 3) but (either not quite knowing the word or not getting
there as he reached for it) he ended up with a similar-sounding word that
is more obviously to do with music, _carousal_. Checking the OED for these
senses, I see that this confusion is, or was, frequent in writers on
historical subjects, as shown by the citations.
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