Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jun 10 17:07:43 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:
> On Jun 10, 2013, at 9:30 AM, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
>> At 6/10/2013 11:49 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>>> Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>>> Now that we have two, mirror-image examples (this
>>>> plus my earlier "imminent domain"), should the
>>>> pair of the Subject line go into the eggcorn database?
>>> Arnold Zwicky mentioned eminent/imminent on Language Log in 2004.
>> Less than briefly, I would say.  Is it such an
>> "old standard" in "MWDEU, Garner, Paul Brians's
>> Common Errors in English, and similar compendia"
>> that it has been omitted from the eggcorn database?
> it hasn't been "omitted"; it just hasn't been added. (I have a backlog of between
> 50 and 100 entries to add to the database, but my attention has been taken up
> by other things.)

Yes, keep in mind that it's mainly just Chris, Arnold, and me making
entries when we have the time to.

> these entries (one in each direction) will be tricky ones to write up, in part
> because of the phonological issues (involving raising of [E] before nasals).

I may have considered either imm->em or em->imm for inclusion at some
point but decided it wasn't quite eggcorny, as it often appears to be
just a malapropistic confusion without a semantic rationale. But I
like the suggestion by "lc" in the ECDB forum for "imminent domain":
it's "the 'imminent' threat of government’s right to take one’s land."


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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