Stream of conscience

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The Eggcorn Database has a note about "steam of consciousness", which is more likely to be a typo rather than an autocorrect error or a genuine eggcorn — but is also more poetically apt.

"Stream of conscience" has been self-consciously used as the title for a podcast as well as for a thriller and a Twitch fund-raising group, among other things.

"Steam of consciousness" has been self-consciously used for a radio program, a steam-powered kinetic skull sculpture, the title of a book review in Science Magazine, and so on.

Of course there are plenty of unwitting exemplars of both phrases Out There.


  1. Cervantes said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 10:57 am

    In this particular case stream of conscience was in fact the opposite of what was happening.

  2. Michael said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 11:53 am

    Relevant to the same event but not the eggcorn, the NYT referred to CPAC as turning into "Trump-chella," which has me scratching my head in utter bafflement.

  3. Roscoe said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 12:39 pm

    Maybe they thought "Trump-apalooza" was too clichéd.

  4. KeithB said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 12:45 pm

    Just for non-usains

    The -chella almost certainly comes from the Coachella music festival:

  5. Cervantes said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 1:04 pm

    Yes, Stephen Colbert used the same joke when he was playing his satirical narcissistic pundit character, and he hosted Colbchella.

  6. Aaron said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 2:04 pm

    KeithB wrote:
    "Just for non-usains"

    I'm sure Mr Bolt wasn't the only one who understood the Coachella reference!

  7. Terry K. said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 2:47 pm

    "Just for non-usains" (I'd go with "USians" or "US-ians"). Actually, the reference wasn't clear to some of us US people, and I for one appreciate the explantion, despite not being a "non-usain".

  8. Cervantes said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 3:34 pm

    United Statesian. In Spanish you can say Estadounidense. Some people find it offense to say "American" to mean United Statesian, since most of North America and all of South America is not the U.S.A.

  9. Eric said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 4:37 pm

    I've long complained about blathering-on at corporate meetings as "stream of unconsciousness", maybe in political arenas the term "stream of unconscience" could be usefully descriptive.

  10. Michael said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 6:14 pm

    Thank you, KeithB. That does clarify it. I'd never heard of it. And, I'm as Amurrikan as anyone.

  11. David C. said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 9:01 pm


    In my limited experience, "estadounidense" is not universally understood, whereas "norteamericano" is. But "norteamericano" (North American) here refers a citizen of the United States, and not Canada.

  12. DaveK said,

    March 1, 2021 @ 9:32 pm

    I’ve seen the term “U.S. American” which is certainly clear enough although it does seem to work better in writing than in speech.

  13. Cervantes said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 8:17 am

    As I understand it, "American" is the common term in English for a United States person because, of course, British subjects in the Americas would be called that, and would call themselves that, and the usage continued post-independence. I.e., we're American as opposed to British. And it's hard to make an adjectival form of United States of America. U.S. person is about the best you can do, so we're probably stuck with American. BTW the formal name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

  14. KeithB said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 10:21 am

    I wonder why Woodstock never generated these kinds of coinages?

  15. Frank said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 12:13 pm

    The difficulty with settling on a common name for the citizens of the United States of America seems to arise from the fact that the name of the polity itself is too unspecific.

    Cervantes cited Mexico. Brazil was also once a United States (Estados Unidos do Brasil, 1889-1968). There are probably others.

  16. J.W. Brewer said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 12:52 pm

    Due to the difficulties of online communication I can't tell if KeithB is being ironic or is genuinely unaware of -stock as a productive suffix, even including TrumpStock.

  17. J.W. Brewer said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 1:03 pm

    To Frank's point, within the English-speaking world the Commonwealth of Australia certainly consists of (i) states; which are (ii) politically united with each other (and, as with the U.S., started as colonies that were not politically united with each other). Yet it avoided, perhaps deliberately, the "united states" label in its nomenclature, thus avoiding the risk of confusion.

  18. Philip Anderson said,

    March 2, 2021 @ 2:18 pm

    People from the United Kingdom are British, and Britain is often a synonym for the UK. So Britain is bigger than Great Britain, which doesn’t include Northern Ireland; except sometimes Britain does mean Great Britain. And GB usually means the UK.
    The English come from England, and the Welsh, Scots and Irish can get offended to be called English. (English) journalists and politicians often refer to “this country”, which is unhelpful but saves them having to check whether something applies only to England, or to the UK (or Great Britain).

  19. KeithB said,

    March 3, 2021 @ 9:55 am

    I was unaware of any -stock coinages.

  20. Chester Draws said,

    March 6, 2021 @ 11:37 pm

    "Trump lost the election FYI. Side note this speech is boring. We can’t win the presidency with this boring, low energy, stream of conscience, weak, has been, choke artist. Just my .02"

    If you replaced the word Trump with the word Biden and said that Trump had produced this tweet, no-one would doubt you. Even the malapropism is what you would expect. The pot calling the kettle black, methinks.

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