Some time ago, twitter pal @ArmaVirumque (aka Edward Banatt) introduced me to the word, eggcorn. I don’t recall what prompted it. Probably a rant on a pet peeve of mine about people who say “windshield factor” instead of “windchill factor”. Do you know what an eggcorn is? It’s definitely not the nut of an oak tree, though that’s what some would have you believe. An eggcorn is a linguistic term for that habit people have of substituting a word or phrase for words that sound similar. For example, “old-timers’ disease” for “Alzheimer’s disease.” You can find a listing of these words on The Eggcorn Database. I’m still a little unsure how I feel about this. Sometimes these words or phrases are cute or clever. But mainly they seem to just make the speaker sound less than bright. What do you think? I have a few other words that irk me, though they may not technically be eggcorns. For example, “pronounciate”, which is a combination of “pronounce” and “enunciate”. Ugh. I actually flinch when I hear it. What about you? Heard any good eggcorns lately?

2 thoughts on “Eggcorns

  1. Pingback: Tenterhooks « Bon Mots

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