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A new word for me: EGGHORN Options
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 8:30:12 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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Dear Fellow Learners:

If you already know this word, don't waste your time reading my post. Have a nice day!


Member Eoin Riedy mentioned this word in another thread.

I am very old ("I have more yesterdays than tomorrows"), but I had NEVER heard this word.

I visited Professor Google and found an explanation from the Longview [Texas] News-Journal newspaper.

1. An "egghorn" is "an odd substitution [that] leads to the formation of a new word or phrase that sounds plausible but is somewhat different in meaning."

a. We should say "all curled up in a fetal position." Some people say "feeble."

b. We should refer to "expatriates." Some people say "ex-patriots."

c. We should say "a worker indicator." Some might hear it as "a worker in Decatur [name of a city]."

d. I am ashamed to say that I had always thought it was "a hard road to hoe." I learned just today that the correct word is "row.
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 8:55:43 AM

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I guess it was invented after I learned all my English (a long time after - it was only invented in 2003).
A good word to learn, thank you.

Apparently, it was named because the first noted example was a lady saying 'egg-corn' for 'acorn'. This is sometimes spelled 'egghorn'.

It is similar to a pun - except that a pun is deliberate and an egghorn is not.

It is similar to a malapropism, except that an egghorn sounds like it has a logical basis, but a malapropism does not.

Another new word for me (which you may or not know) is that if a person continues to use the egghorn or mondegreen or malapropism after being corrected, then they are committing mumpsimus, and they can be described as a mumpsimus.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 10:32:16 AM

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all of this is really good stuff :) thank you :)

Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 10:55:59 AM

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"Send reinforcements, we're going to advance" becomes "Send 3 and 4 pence (three shillings and fourpence, in old UK money), we're going to a dance" is a well-known mondegreen, although I never knew that was the name for it before. Dancing

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 11:12:03 AM

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good one again, cheers!

What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
Eoin Riedy
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:38:19 PM

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Thanks for the mention, Parser!

"Egghorn" - an eggcorn of "eggcorn"?! Perhaps the Texans had their minds on Leghorn chickens.


The word _eggcorn_ was coined collectively by the linguists who write at the excellent group blog Language Log. Linguists collect usage examples. Unlike language teachers or the often self-styled grammar experts who complain in the press about the decay of English, they are not picky: the actual, real-life use is what counts, and the most interesting bits — those that might reveal something about how real people apprehend their language — often stretch the received rules of correctness.
In September 2003, Mark Liberman reported (Egg corns: folk etymology, malapropism, mondegreen, ???) an incorrect yet particularly suggestive creation: someone had written “egg corn” instead of “acorn”. It turned out that there was no established label for this type of non-standard reshaping. Erroneous as it may be, the substitution involved more than just ignorance: an acorn is more or less shaped like an egg; and it is a seed, just like grains of corn. So if you don’t know how _acorn_ is spelled, _egg corn_ actually makes sense.
Mark Liberman’s colleague Geoffrey Pullum chimed in and suggested that this type of linguistic error should be called an _eggcorn_. Then Arnold Zwicky, wrote an enlightening article (Lady Mondegreen says her peace about egg corns) in which he gave his blessing to the term _eggcorn_ and explained that new labels for spontaneous reshapings of known expressions are sorely needed, and listed the aspects under which eggcorns overlap with but yet differ from known classes of lexical creativity: malapropisms, mondegreens, folk etymologies etc.

Binod Subedi
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 10:17:56 PM

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good one again, cheers!
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