Archive for Eggcorns

Mistranscription of the month

"Florida school shooting: Armed deputy on duty never went inside to confront gunman", Associated Press 2/22/2018:

The sheriff said he was "devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. We lost coaches. I've been to the funerals. I've been to the homes where they sit and shiver. I've been to the vigils. It's just, ah, there are no words."

"Correction: School Shooting-Florida story", Associated Press 2/26/2018:

In a story Feb. 22 about the Florida school shooting, The Associated Press misquoted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in some versions of the story when he spoke about the families of the victims. He said, "I've been to their homes where they're sitting shiva," not "where they sit and shiver."

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Beggar thy neighbor's question

Piers Morgan, "The wife-beater, the witch and the White House: Why the hell did Trump ever tell Rob Porter and Omarosa ‘you’re hired’?", Daily Mail 2/13/2018:

'Shut the f**k up, a**hole,’ snarled Omarosa Manigault-Newman at me. ‘How are your kids going to feel when they wake up and discover their dad’s a f**king f*gg*t?’

Yes, this is the same Omarosa Manigault-Newman who just spent a year inside Donald Trump’s White House.

I’ve met a lot of vile human beings in my life, from dictators and terrorists to sex abusers and wicked conmen.

But I’ve never met anyone quite so relentlessly loathsome as Omarosa; a vicious, duplicitous, lying, conniving, backstabbing piece of work.

Which beggars the question: what the hell was she doing inside the world’s most powerful building for 12 months?

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A fowl of the rules

Jordain Carney, "House will have to vote for tax-cut bill again", TheHill 12/19/2017, originally included this sentence:

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also seized on the ruling immediately, saying Republicans in a "mad dash to provide tax breaks for their billionaire campaign contributors" had ran a fowl of the chamber's rules.

I didn't get a screenshot in time, and it's now "had run afoul of the chamber's rules", so you'll have to take my word for the original version. It's not clear whether the original was an eggcorn or an autocorrect error or a Fay/Cutler malapropism.

[h/t Jonathan Falk]

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Belgian whistles

This one isn't in the Eggcorn Database, and doesn't seem to be mentioned in the forum either. [But googling the phrase is not recommended…]

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The New Yorker baubles it

Yesterday, The New Yorker posted an article on its website: "The Error in Baseball and the Moral Dimension to American Life," by Stephen Marche. As originally published, the article contained this paragraph (emphasis mine):

In practice, “ordinary effort” describes, as Bill James wrote, what should have happened. What should have happened in a piece of fielding can have nothing to do with the play of the fielder. Utter offered me a case: The runner hits the ball into the outfield, the fielder baubles the ball, and the runner advances to second. Is that an error? It depends. “What we would have to look at is—is it a single or is it a double? Or is it a single and advance on an error or on the throw?” The way that the scorer determines whether that bauble is an error or not has less to do with the action of the fielder than with the action of the runner. “Was the runner going all the time? Did he never think about stopping at first? Or was he running and looking at the play and then slowed down a little bit and then took off when he saw the little bauble?” If he paused, noticed the misplay, and ran to second, “That becomes the error.”

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Renaming anonymous

Paula Abul sends in a spooneristic eggcorn:

I've just come across an eggcorn I've never seen before, and thought it might interest you. It is the phrase "who will rename anonymous", in place of the more usual "remain anonymous". A cursory Google search shows a fair few instances.

Her example is from Kate Allen, "What Your Hairstylist Really Thinks of Your Groupon", Hello Giggles 11/21/2013:

But recently, I’ve received an overwhelming request from hairdressers (who will rename anonymous) to write a guideline for the proper etiquette for using a coupon (Living Social, Groupon, Amazon Local Deal) for a beauty service.

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"Descending" votes and voices

From Elliott Penegar:

I was reading school board minutes (don’t ask) and noticed that the board secretary had noted several times that a board member had cast a “descending vote.”  I thought, “What was the member doing, voting while walking down the stairs?” No. She evidently meant “dissenting vote.” But it was “descending” each and every time . . .

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"You have foraged relationships with many presidents"

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The Road to Wazoo

The OED has wazoo, n., glossed as "The buttocks; the anus",  noting that it is used "Freq. as a (euphemistic) substitute for ass in fig. phrases, as pain in the wazoo, etc.", giving special notice to the expression up (also out) the wazoo, glossed as "in great quantities, in abundance, to excess.

Wiktionary has the gloss "(vulgar, slang) the anus; ass", with derived terms listed as up the wazoo and out the wazoo, both glossed as "(vulgar, idiomatic) up the ass; excessive or excessively; too much".

But as a result of phonetic processes like those discussed here the other day, the pronunciation of the in a phrase like "up the wazoo" often overlaps with what the pronunciation of to would be in a similar context.

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Central European incomprehensibility

From Nikola Gotovac:

Today I was introduced to the web page "The directed graph of stereotypical incomprehensibility".  

There is one quite common misconception about Croatian language on that graph (and similar languages – Slovenian, Serbian, and Bosnian). To be more precise, the expression "it is all spanish village to me" is actually mis-translated to english, since the saying is "to su meni španska sela". In Croatian language the adjective for spanish is "španjolska", not "Španska". "Španska" means – one owned by "špan", or in today-croatian, "župan".

Please check Wikipedia for meaning of the term Župan. As the župan is part of governing establishment, the expression means "it is all strange to me" or "it does not belong to me, so I do not know" or "it is somebody else's (thing)".  Therefore, although it is tempting to direct this expression on Spain, the meaning is quite different.

Although I know next to nothing about Croatian, a bit of web search suggests that Dr. Gotovac is wrong, and that the župan idea is a philological eggcorn.

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Grizzly

Some evidence that we might be drifting back towards Elizabethan spelling rules (i.e. "whatever, dude"):

[link] More raw and grizzly testimony expected in Dylann Roof case

[link] Just before Snyder held her news conference, Oakland police and fire chaplain Jayson Landeza took several family members to the grizzly site.

[link] A grizzly piece of evidence has been returned to the family whose loved one died in an officer-involved shooting in Wauwatosa in June.

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Return of the Mazel Tov Cocktail

Maya Rhodan, "A Donald Trump Surrogate Strangely Accused Jay Z of Promoting ‘Mazel Tov’ Cocktails", Time Magazine 11/7/2016:

A surrogate of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused Jay Z, who performed at a rally for Hillary Clinton last week, of promoting police violence in a video that featured “mazel tov cocktails.”  

“One of his main videos starts off with a crowd throwing mazel tov cocktails at the police,” Scottie Nell Hughes said on CNN.

The obligatory audio:

Ms. Hughes is not the first prominent Republican to get these two mixed up: "Mazel Tov, Molotov, whatever", 12/11/2014.

See also: Maura Judkis, "The Mazel Tov Cocktail is real. And it's delicious", Washington Post 11/7/2016.

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China reigns

Headline from the China Daily:

"China reigns in brutal police tactics" (9/9/03)

This hilarious misspelling causes China's widest circulating English-language newspaper accidentally to have a true headline.

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