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Feb 21, 2013
This week's theme
Words for linguistic errors

This week's words
spoonerism
malapropism
Freudian slip
eggcorn
mondegreen

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

eggcorn

PRONUNCIATION:
(EG-korn)

MEANING:
noun: An erroneous alteration of a word or phrase, by replacing an original word with a similar sounding word, such that the new word or phrase also makes a kind of sense.
For example: "ex-patriot" instead of "expatriate" and "mating name" instead of "maiden name".

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by linguist Geoffrey Pullum (b. 1945) in 2003. From the substitution of the word acorn with eggcorn. Earliest documented use as a name for this phenomenon is from 2003, though the term eggcorn has been found going back as far as 1844, as "egg corn bread" for "acorn bread".

USAGE:
"Will eggcorns continue to hatch? This is a moot point (or is that mute?). Yet certainly anyone waiting with 'baited' (bated) breath for 'whole scale' (wholesale) changes may need to wait a while."
Bill & Rich Sones; If Elevator Falls, Don't Jump to Conclusions; Deseret News (Utah); Jul 3, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one's own despised and unwanted feelings. -Alice Miller, psychologist and author (1923-2010)

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