"Case and point"

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I've noticed recently that some people seem to have learned the expression "a case in point" as "a case and point". (And Ben Zimmer entered this one in the eggcorn database back in 2005…) For example, David M. Goodman, The demanded self: Ethics and identity in modern psychologies:

It is singularity of one's own voice, a coagulation of multiple introjected voices stagnately setting the basis of one's present voice. This can be seen in eating disorders as well. Autism is a case and point.

Here and in many similar examples, "a case and point" seems to function as an exact syntactic, semantic, and rhetorical substitute for "a case in point". Thus Elder Richard Clemons, A Separation Between Church and State:

Earlier, I said: God does not use a man's wife, unless he consults the husband first. Here is a case and point: Luke 1:26.

In some cases, there is reason to wonder about the educational background of the author — thus Thomas Henderson, In Control: The Rebirth of an NFL Legend:

When a celebrity is accused of a crime or immoral act, it is reported by the press and thus, people presume guilt. In essence, by the time a lie or allegation gets halfway around the world, the truth is just getting up to catch up. The recent Michael Irvin situation is a case and point.

But eggcorn-formation is no respecter of diplomas, and many examples of this one can be found in works whose authors are well-read and educated to a fault. Here's Howard P. McKeon, Developing And Maintaining A High-quality Teacher Force:

The Congress has long recognized the need for a standing federal role in reminding the states of various kinds of fundamental responsibilities which the states have been unable to accomplish without federal supervision. Ensuring each citizen's right to vote in federal elections is a case and point.

Or Wayne Waxman, Hume's Theory of Consciousness:

If so, then much that Hume classed as perception ought not to have been so ranked if he meant scrupulously to apply his separability principle. However, it is clear that he himself did not see it this way. Volition, "the internal impression we feel and are conscious of, when we knowingly give rise to any new motion of our body, or new perceptions of our mind" … is a case and point. How can one will without willing something, and so how can willing be separated from the idea of the thing willed?

Or, even closer to home, James Pustejovsky et al., "Arguments in TimeML: Events and Entities", in Frank Schilder et al., Eds., Annotating, extracting and reasoning about time and events:

The extraction of new temporal links from subordinating or aspectual relationships should not be mistaken as a replacement for the SLINKs and ALINKs. On the contrary, they still play a vital role in the annotation. The example described above is a case and point: if the new BEFORE TLINK were to replace the SLINK, then there would be no remaining evidence that the subordinated event may or may not have actually happened.

The OED explains that in point once was more generally used to mean "Apposite, appropriate, or pertinent", with examples like these:

1633 W. Prynne Histrio-mastix vii. iii. 582   Can. 51. is most expresse in point.
1659 T. Burton Diary 25 Mar. (1828) IV. 254   Some play or other is in point.
1748 S. Richardson Clarissa VII. xciii. 345   They are in point to the present subject.
1753 S. Richardson Hist. Sir Charles Grandison II. iv. 60   All the Christian doctrines, as I have hinted, are in point against it [sc. duelling].
1796 J. West Gossip's Story I. 198   Not recollecting any similitude in point.
1861 T. L. Peacock Gryll Grange xxix,   I will be bound every one in this company could‥find a quotation in point.
1885 Law Rep.: Chancery Div. 30 14   The case of Stokes v. Trumper is not really in point.

The OED's entry observes that this usage is "Now chiefly in case in point: an apposite instance, an example that illustrates the point".  It seems to me that the OED's "chiefly" understates the case — as far as I can tell, all uses of (this sense of) in point except for "case in point" are now archaic. ("In point of fact" is an idiom with a different source.)

So one of the factors influencing eggcorn-formation is present: the original pattern ("case in point") has become opaque. It's true that the re-analysis ("case and point") is also opaque, but the pronunciation of the two phrases is essentially identical in normal American speech, and  that leaves the learner's tally for the alternatives without a clear winner, and thus open to a random choice in which the winner may not be the traditional version.

There's another possible outcome here, which is to re-analyze both the idiom's word sequence and also its rhetorical force. That's what seems to have happened in the example of "case and point" that recently started me thinking about this, from a comment on a book review:

Here the force seems to be closer to "Case closed" or maybe "Q.E.D.". (Or, as pointed out in the comments, "check and mate", or "game, set and match"…)

Update — fev at Headsup: The Blog adds some observations about "Commander and Chief".  An older (?) example of the same thing is the equivocation between "puss in boots" and "puss and boots" (or "puss n boots"), or "…it is the systems inside our contact management system that make us better at what we do day and day out."). And there are a few movements the other ways, e.g. this:

Quoted far in wide in a variety of magazines and newspapers, Wadhwa also has used columns he writes for TechCrunch, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Local Tech Wire to preach his gospel of how foreign-born entrepreneurs help create jobs.

Or this:

A few months back when I got home from work I pull into my driveway and lo-in-behold… I see water running down my drive and flowing down the street.

And then there's people who like to get "down in dirty", and go "above in beyond" the call of duty.

I should note that a few of the many web hits for "case and point" offer advice to the perplexed on this point of usage. One of these, at Yahoo Answers, addresses the question "Is it, Case and Point, Case In Point, or Case End Point?" Michael Quinion has a typically clear and sensible discussion of the issue here.


  1. C Thornett said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    The grumpy old person lurking in me suspects that too many people begin to write without having done enough reading. And perhaps without having enough correction–sorry, I mean suggestions for improvement–of the writing they did at school, if their writing wasn't mostly copying and pasting.

    (I have a medical excuse for being a grumpy old person just now.)

    [(myl) As usual in the case of eggcorns, it's plausible that the idiom has been learned from speech, where the two versions are identical, rather than from text, where they aren't. But it doesn't follow that those who have made the wrong choice in such cases haven't "done enough reading". As I indicated in the body of the post, some of the examples of "case and point" come from authors who may not have spent a lot of time reading, but in many other instances, here and for most other eggcorns, this is not a plausible diagnosis.

    The "case in point" idiom is a fairly common one, but that means a frequency of about 3 per million words. And if you were someone who first learned the phrase as "case and point" from hearing it spoken, seeing an occasional written "case in point" — roughly once in every third long book — wouldn't necessarily register as relevant.]

  2. Tom said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    That last could almost be reading "point" as the term used in sports and game scoring. Case, point, game, set and match.

    [(myl) I think you're right.]

  3. Cy said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I'm with Tom – "match, set and point" seems to be the substratum, suggesting not just Q.E.D., leading to "case closed," but that it leads to a "point" in favor of the argument put forward – a tally mark.

  4. Tim said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    I've also more recently come across the reversal "point in case". Presumably this is taken to be a shortening of "a point in the case".

  5. Morgan said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    My instinct is to suspect eggcorns arise chiefly in, as C Thornett suggests, people whose oral vocabulary/fluency outstrips their written. I confess that a few examples of this type of error are usually enough for me to form a judgment of someone as under- if not unread. But I wonder if research or science would/does actually support this?

    It occurs to me that many errors of substitution in language, like the ones in the dyslexia and dysgraphia family, are features of the way the individual's brain works, such as how some people can't remember English spelling regardless of how they are taught or how much they read. Could something similar be behind eggcorns perhaps, where the speaker who has been exposed to both variants can't recall the correct one?

  6. Bill Walderman said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    In contemporary American legal jargon, "on point" means "precisely relevant." A case or opinion is said to be "on point" (or not) if it directly supports the conclusion that is being argued for (or doesn't). While the phrase "case in point" may be fossilized, it seems that "in point" has simply been replaced by "on point," at least here in the US in the legal community.

  7. John said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    In college we had the opposite issue, where friends would correctly use, but mispronounce words they had obviously seen in writing, but not heard in speech. For example, HORizon, instead of hoRIzon (a mis-accentuation from my youth).

    "You read too much!"

    [(myl) The classic example of this is "misled" as the preterite of the verb misle.]

  8. svan said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    My childhood was plagued with such incidents! (I read a ton and, very shy, communicated by speech relatively little.) I must confess to a certain pleasure upon hearing (about) this happening to adults.

  9. Ryan Red Corn said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    I don't read as much as I should. I suffer from eggcorn. Case in Point.

    In Oklahoma I have never heard case AND point but this might be because I am hearing "case'n point"

  10. Jerry Friedman said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    At least a few of those may be typos. I feel sure I've accidentally typed and for in and vice-versa, though I knew "perfectly" well which word I wanted.

    @MYL: Thomas Henderson wrote In Control "with Frank Luksa", according to the cover.

  11. Mr Fnortner said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    Calling them eggcorns valiantly attempts to make the corrupt humorous, and thus innocuous. It appears that the lettered will eventually give up all historically correct figures of speech to the Phyllis Deans.

  12. Coleman Glenn said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    As Tom says, that last usage sounds like sports term: "game, set and match." I think an even closer cousin – and possible source of confusion – might be "check and mate." "Game, set, and match" is not something you necessarily say when you've beaten someone, whereas "check and mate" has the same tone of "There – I beat you."

  13. Marc B. Leavitt said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    I have to agree with the reading a lot, speaking a little point of view. I always used the word 'epitome' correctly in speech, but I always read it as ep-i-tome (to rhyme with home). One day in company I used the read version in speech instead to a companty of friends and was greeted with an embarrassed and embarassing silence.

  14. Coleman Glenn said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Here's a similar usage of "check and mate" from the Simpsons episode "Don't Fear the Roofer":

    Dr. Hibbert: Well I'm not worried, you've already agreed not to sue me for anything.
    Marge: When did I agree to that.
    Dr. Hibbert: You did when I validated your parking.
    Marge: You didn't validate my parking.
    Dr. Hibbert: Check and mate.

  15. C Thornett said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    I did qualify my remarks, and I think oral learning of the phrase, perhaps in the form 'case and point' or hearing 'case 'n point' and analysing it as 'case and point' is probably often the case.

    Certainly many of the substitutions and eggcorns that turn up in newspapers and blogs can sensibly be attributed to spoken words being turned into something else in print, perhaps assisted by the Cupertino effect.

    One of my former students, an Urdu speaker doing an MA in sociology, had great problems with this in writing up her research. Not so much with the technical sociology terms which she usually presented and spelled correctly, but with general words and terms of more formal academic English. Her attempts at spelling words heard in lectures and seminars, or translating her informants' Urdu and Punjabi, when run through a spellchecker, would often result in Cupertinos. As an NNES, though a well-educated one, she had more excuse than some for not recognising these and I was happy to proofread for her and to suggest more likely alternatives to communicate her meaning. Sometimes this took some negotiation as to meaning and dictionary work on her part.

    Despite the pronouncements of some educational theorists as filtered through multiple layers of bureacracy, most ESOL students are eager to be corrected and are shocked and disappoointed if corrections and improvements to their spoken and written language are not made by their teacher. Often, especially at higher levels, this is a matter of principles for converting heard and spoken language into written language, and recognising the difference between the grammatically permissable and natural, idiomatic English. I recommend reading and using what is read as models for writing.

  16. MarcF said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    The read pronunciation rather than the spoken one happens to me too. I also heard it happen to Johnny Carson one time when he addressed Penelope Ann Miller as PeneLOPE.

  17. Beth said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    I saw the same comment from the book review that you mentioned here and wondered at the use of "case and point." Nice to see a discussion of it here.

  18. Dw said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    Another casualty of the weak vowel merger.

  19. LDavidH said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    @ Marc B. Leavitt & MarcF: This happens to me a lot, a non-native English speaker married to a Brit and living in the UK. There are loads of words I know perfectly well and can use correctly, BUT I don't know the correct pronunciation. Came across one just an hour ago: betrothal. Is that an -o- or an -oh- sound in the middle? And once I was talking about how hospitable Albanians are, and stressed the first syllable…

  20. GeorgeW said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    I grew up thinking I was hearing 'all intensive purposes' which I just accepted as idiomatic. Then, at some point, I read 'intents and purposes' and thought, now that makes more sense.

  21. the other Mark P said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Another for "all intensive purposes". I was 17 before I got that one right.

    In my case it was definitely not a lack of reading. I was a voracious reader, and read adult books from quite early.

    Instead it was because two of my teachers, and particularly one Maths teacher, used the phrase a lot.

    Still, could be worse: one man I knew thought for much of his childhood that highway men said "stand on your liver!"

  22. tablogloid said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    Ballet is definitely a big case on pointe.

  23. ShadowFox said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    I've also seen quite a few "case on point". But that's almost the same as "case in point"… well, not quite.

    There are a couple of suggestions that people interpret the expression relative to the line "point, set, match". I'm sorry, this is not a sports metaphor–it's specifically a tennis metaphor. As such, it is highly unlikely to be particularly common outside of circles where tennis is popular, which is to say a fairly small minority of English speakers. The connection is spurious and just silly. The "case and point" eggcorn is far more common. It is also not unique in "in" being exchanged for "and" in either direction. There are others.

  24. ShadowFox said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    I should clarify–I don't mean to say that it's never connected to the tennis metaphor. In fact, it's rather clear that the "INDIE IS NOT SELF-PUB" example does stem from something like that. But, the point is that the majority of examples of "case and point" don't offer an emphatic punctuation of this kind but are rather used where one would have expected to find "case in point". In these cases, there is no connection to tennis.

    Besides, "point" is the lowest scoring mechanism in tennis". This is followed by game, set and match–and, in fact, that trio is often used as emphatic punctuation metaphor on its own. Why would "point" be substituted for those three? It clearly is, on rare occasion, but the mechanism is not clear.

  25. J Lee said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    it is absolutely logical and appropriate to blame the majority of these cases on lack of reading — how do the noble defenders explain the absurd confusion between homonyms there/their/they're which are syntactically distinct and never confused in published print? or "i would of gone"?

    for all intensive purposes truly baffled me the first time i saw it because even if one could divine some meaning from how a purpose could be intensive, there isnt a strong phonetic basis. if anything one would expect a bilabial nasal, but then we might see "intensome purposes" on the pattern of troublesome or wholesome, so i suppose i should be grateful. if this isnt "butchering the language" i dont know what is.

    among other reasons these peeves are distinct from standard prescriptivism because our unprecedented ability to reach an audience through writing raises the stakes for looking foolish and older generations — namely hiring managers or admissions officers — surely wont be as forgiving.

  26. bryan said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    @ J Lee:
    surely wont be as forgiving.

    won't & wont are two different English words: one has the apostrophe, the other one doesn't have it. In your case, it would be the one with the apostrophe: won't

    same situation with can't & cant.

  27. Matt McIrvin said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    When I read the "INDIE IS NOT SELF-PUB" example I immediately thought what Tom did, that "case and point" there reminded me of what one might say at the end of a tennis match.

    But I briefly Googled for phrases like that, and found what ShadowFox implied, that "game, set and match" may be quite common but versions involving the word "point" are not so common. People say "match point" or "game point" but not, say, "point and match", certainly not "match and point".

    Why, then, does "case and point" evoke tennis to us readers? Maybe it's a chain of associations.

  28. Fritinancy said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    I thought of chess rather than tennis: "check and mate."

  29. Matt McIrvin said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    The phenomenon of sight-pronunciations by bookish people was used recently for comic effect in the movie Megamind. Will Ferrell, as the title character (a space-alien genius raised by convicts to be an unworldly supervillain), has a number of habitual mispronunciations, such as "Metro City" rhyming with "atrocity" and "school" as "shool" (this last may be a crypto-Yiddishism as well).

  30. J Lee said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    bryan – i am on a japanese laptop and cannot be bothered to use full punctuation. you are acting like a bit of a cant yourself.

  31. Ellen K. said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    @Ryan Red Corn said,

    In Oklahoma I have never heard case AND point but this might be because I am hearing "case'n point"

    You aren't going to hear "case and point", because "and" and "in" when unstressed are pronounced identically or nearly so. Not differently enough that one would notice if someone was saying "case and point" instead of "case in point". Not unless someone had reason to give "and" it's stressed pronunciation, which I think would be quite rare.

  32. Hermann G Burchard said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    A slightly related case and point: The language editor of THE TIMES (online, London) once put an essay about "try and" instead of "try to" as in "try and explain why the world is round." Don't recall what baloney he came up with. He missed the case for euphonics.

  33. maidhc said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Rather than a sports metaphor, I take it to mean "Here is a CASE of what I'm talking about and thus I validate my POINT".

    Garrison Keillor did an amusing routine about people who get most of their vocabulary from reading.

    In my case, "bas-relief" was one that did me in.

  34. Steve Kass said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    For example, David M. Goodman, The demanded self: Ethics and identity in modern psychologies:

    It is singularity of one's own voice, a coagulation of multiple introjected voices stagnately setting the basis of one's present voice. This can be seen in eating disorders as well. Autism is a case and point.


    [(myl) Yup:

    The opposite of actantly, I suppose…]

  35. Steve Kass said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 10:05 pm


    [(myl) Yup:

    The opposite of actantly, I suppose…]

    I disagree. Perhaps you read this as stagnantly?
    Stagnately, which Goodman wrote, would be the opposite of actately, I think, were either of them words, that is.

  36. bfwebster said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    Flying a tangent from the in/on point discussion in the comments — when I went to work for NASA some 32 years ago as a programmer on the Space Shuttle flight simulators, I quickly learned that spacecraft are not "in orbit", they are "on orbit". I suspect that phrase was derived from the military phrase "on station" (meaning a ship or other vehicle had arrived and was remaining at the location where it had been ordered to go). I'm not sure in retrospect whether that applied only to manned spacecraft.

    I also learned that 'nominal' (in NASA space flight terms) meant 'normal, as expected, according to plan', rather than 'a token or insignificant amount'. Never quite got used to that one. ..bruce..

  37. Ø said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

    @LDavidH: I'm pretty sure that for every person who disapproves of stressing the first syllable of "hospitable" there's another who disapproves of not stressing it.

  38. the other Mark P said,

    April 2, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    It is absolutely logical and appropriate to blame the majority of these cases on lack of reading.

    Frequent readers of this blog will know that "logical" does not make true, especially when it comes to language use. One of the reasons I enjoy LL is the practice of not accepting lazy assumptions, but rather testing them for validity.

    As a heavy reader who has fallen into eggcorns myself I suspect you are utterly wrong. I would suggest eggcorns are most common in people who like to use different words and phrases. People who are not content to work in a small and safe vocabulary. Those people will also tend to be readers. Speculation? Sure. But no more than yours.

  39. Cclinton said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    I was not even aware of "case in point" before reading this article.

  40. Graeme said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 5:53 am

    To the extent eggcorns tend to be based on not uncommon phrases whose metaphorical origins are forgotten, reading widely (or at least well) would be not much defence. Unless you read careful cliche mongers.

    But nor are they examples of dynamic vocabulary.

    Aren't they mostly mutations in tired pockets of linguistic DNA?

  41. Hermann Burchard said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Cannot think of any German eggcorns, but am confused about eggcorn vs folk etymology — we have those — vs re-analysis, as a non-linguist . .

  42. Jerry Friedman said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    @bfwebster: That nominal is from the "nominal" value of a resistor or something similar, that is, the one it's labeled as, right? If a resistor's actual resistance is equal to its nominal resistance, then it's just what it's supposed to be.

  43. Nathan Myers said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    I used to work with someone who insisted that the correct way to say "by and large" was "by in large". They go both ways.

  44. Dakota said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    Then there was the Point/Counterpoint segment from 60 minutes, and later SNL.

  45. Matt McIrvin said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    @Nathan Myers: There's another recent movie gag. "Buy 'N Large" is the fictional consumer-goods corporation that conquers and destroys the world in "WALL-E". (Backstory in tie-in materials reveals that the 'N actually was originally "and", but it seems to function more as "ing".)

  46. Jerry Friedman said,

    April 3, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    @J Lee

    it is absolutely logical and appropriate to blame the majority of these cases on lack of reading — how do the noble defenders explain the absurd confusion between homonyms there/their/they're which are syntactically distinct and never confused in published print? or "i would of gone"?

    What "defenders"? I haven't seen anybody defend case and point or any other eggcorn, if that's what you mean.

    I sometimes type one of there/their/they're when I mean another one, and the same with your/you're and various other homonyms. I usually notice it and correct it, which shows that I know the syntactic difference, and I've read quite a bit of published print. I can't tell you what the explanation is, but maybe some part of my brain types what it "hears" while another part that should be checking the grammar is thinking about something else.

    I can also tell you from experience that some people read a great deal without ever noticing spelling.

    You "can't be bothered" to put in apostrophes on the computer you use. Maybe some people can't be bothered to check what they type. Maybe some of them have excuses as good as yours. And some people aren't good at spotting their own errors, for all kinds of reasons including bad vision.

  47. C Thornett said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:11 am

    @Hermann Burchard–

    An eggcorn is not just a folk entymology which might derive the word 'acorn' from 'egg+corn'; it is a using the word 'eggcorn' instead of 'acorn'. Another example is a person using the phrase 'giving up the goat' rather than 'giving up the ghost' to refer to dying. (Cited by novellist Jeanette Winterston in a newspaper article.) Folk etymology may be used to explain or justify an eggcorn.

  48. C Thornett said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:12 am

    Sorry, make that Jeanette Winterson.

  49. dw said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:38 am

    @J Lee

    how do the noble defenders explain the absurd confusion between homonyms there/their/they're which are syntactically distinct and never confused in published print? or "i would of gone"?

    These homophones (not "homonyms") get confused because the our minds store words in phonetic form. Written language is a recent development in the history of mankind, and was until the last two hundred years or so the preserve of a tiny elite. The human brain has evolved to learn spoken language, not written language. That is why we to send children to school to learn to read and write, but not to speak and listen.

    You are right that, from a certain perspective, it is "absurd" that "they're" gets confused with "their": a moment's thought ought to make it clear that "they're" is an abbreviation of "they are". However, when we consider the way our brains work, it is not absurd. The words "they're" and "their" are stored identically in the brain, in phonetic form (for the majority of English speakers who pronounce them identically). It is the responsibility of a secondary faculty to "transcribe" these sounds into written form, and this faculty, being a late addition to our linguistic apparatus, makes many mistakes.

    You'll notice the reverse error does not occur. For example, the orthographic word "read" represents two different forms of the verb: the present (pronounced, for most English-speakers, like "reed") and the past (pronounced like "red"). Yet no adult English speaker confuses the two pronunciations. No one says "I REED the book yesterday", or "I love to RED in the bath".

  50. dw said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:48 am

    @Ellen K:

    You aren't going to hear "case and point", because "and" and "in" when unstressed are pronounced identically or nearly so.

    Not for everyone.

    By the way, was the word "eggcorn" coined by someone with the "egg"-"vague" merger? I don't have that merger in my own accent, and I find the word "eggcorn" rather annoying, probably similarly to the way other people hate the word "moist".

  51. Ellen K. said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    @dw: What part of "nearly so" didn't you understand?

  52. kenny said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    I have always wondered what exactly "case in point" meant! Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  53. Lane said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    I was asked the other day to settle a bet: "one and the same" or "one in the same"? I had never heard anyone say "one in the same", and I said so… Didn't realize there was a whole subset of in/and eggcorns.

  54. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I thought for many years that it was 'intention purposes'.

  55. A New Eggcorn? said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    […] "Case and point." I'm especially interested in one of the last citations (in the peach-colored box) that gives us a usage wherein this new-ish phrase is being used like "game, set, and match." Cancel reply […]

  56. Snarky Indiana » Blog Archive » House Republicans Learn About the Transitive Property said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    […] to agree to disagree on the abortion issue. But we can agree that stupidity is stupidity. Case in point: the claim abortion causes breast […]

  57. maidhc said,

    April 10, 2011 @ 4:33 am

    Ooh! Ooh! I spotted a new example. In the San Francisco Chronicle, in an article about tough times in the restaurant business, they used the phrase "coup de gras".

    I guess it could be a very erudite joke by the reporter…

  58. dw said,

    April 10, 2011 @ 4:56 am


    That's only an eggcorn if you don't know how to pronounce French. Perhaps we need a special name for such errors….

  59. Christopher Brown said,

    April 25, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    Just came across a pretty amusing one: "…but when you have the whole kitten kaboodle deployed…"

    Here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/04/working-with-the-chaos-monkey.html

  60. Gordon P. Hemsley said,

    May 1, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    I was under the impression that this phrase originally came from the French case en pointe, à la en masse. Am I mistaken?

  61. Sherrinford said,

    September 14, 2014 @ 6:51 am

    I always thought they were completely different phrases. Case IN point meaning "for example", and "case AND point" meaning "precisely what I was trying to say," or "you've just created the case and proved my point."

    Case in point, one might be speaking to a friend and attempting to tell them they're overly dramatic. They respond with, "I am NOT melodramatic, you're KILLING me here!"
    And you calmly reply, "case and point."

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