world renouned

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 10 15:56:03 UTC 2013

On Nov 10, 2013, at 10:06 AM, W Brewer wrote:

> Did a double-take. <<<world renouned>>> 2.86M ghits vs. <<<world
> renowned>>> 89.6M ghits (plus or minus hyphen).
>     (Picture this: An apocalypse of anomic aphasia results in the
> replacement of all the world's nouns by renouned lexicographers.)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

Reminds me of one of my favorite eggcorns from the early years (of our discussions of them), which I first came across a decade ago in an online movie review of "Nurse Betty":

Betty returns home in time to feed her non-deserving husband [Del], who does not even acknowledge her birthday. She is supposed to go out with her girlfriend for a birthday celebration, and unbenounced to Del, she has taken the Buick LeSabre that he had firmly denied her from the lot to go out in style.

The etymology is from "(unbe)known(st)", the pronunciation (and semantics) from "renown", and the spelling (and pronunciation, and morphological structure) from "(PFX+)nounce(d)" as in "announced". The three roots are in fact unrelated, _renown_ being cognate with "name" and "noun".  <30K raw google hits for "unbenounced", 20K for "unbenounced to", including a number from puzzled dictionary-searchers wondering why they can't find it.


The American Dialect Society -

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