Thursday, October 29, 2020

Free-range, Cage-free Eggcorns

Gilda Radner (photo: Solters and Roskin)

For all intensive purposes is an eggcorn. The correct phrase is for all intents and purposes. When you look up the derivation of the meaning of the linguistic faux pas, it appears to derive from an auditory failure like mistaking an acorn for an eggcorn. Eggcorns definitely occur when the spoken word is not heard correctly. Escape goat instead of scapegoat, biting your time instead of biding your time. According to Miriam-Webster the term was created by the linguist Geoffrey Pullum in 2003 so if you’re feeling behind the eight ball, it’s not something that Strunk and White would have identified in that bible of grammar, The Elements of Style which goes back to l918. What’s interesting about Pullum besides the fact that he’s been married three times is that in his youth he founded a soul group, Geno Washington and the Ram, Jam Band. He’s Scottish, but this of course recalls The Commitments, the famous Irish soul band which came into existence before there was any label for mispronunciation of this kind. Pass mustard is the eggcorn for pass musterEx-patriot instead of expatriot and curve rather than curb your enthusiasm is another. Imagine how much funnier it would have been if Larry David had called his series Curve Your Enthusiasm? Substituting the misconstuction creates a walking double entendre recalling Gilda Radner's famous "Saving Soviet Jewelry" skit on Saturday Night Live.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.