Friday, November 5, 2010

Wrong words that sound write

An urban child, strolling along a rural road with his parents, came upon a carpet of acorns beneath an oak tree, and he asked his parents what these fruit were called. He picked up a few specimens and put them in his pocket. The next day, at school, he showed one of them to his teacher, and told her that it was an "eggcorn".

This anecdote has given rise to a database of amusing eggcorn examples. Click the above photo to visit this database.

Two lovely specimens were created through confusion between the terms "ilk" and "elk" (British word for moose). Palin and her elk are running everyone else out of the Republican Party. I would rather be in hell than have anything to do with Christians like Sarah Palin and her elk.

Later on in the database, we hear that: The word "sheila" is an Aussie youthamism.

My post entitled Quackery [display] included a well-known eggcorn: The equator is an imaginary lion running around the Earth.

Eggcorns can arise in terms borrowed from foreign languages. For example: My boss asked me to bring two on-trays to our christmas party, but I honestly don’t know what to put on the trays.

My cousins Peter and Mitchell unearthed a delightful French eggcorn. Having learned that the French word for a backyard swimming pool is piscine, they promptly got around to referring to their family pool in Sydney as a "piss-in".

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