Fourth of Six

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Monday, March 07, 2005

The Eggcorn Database

Word weenies rejoice! The Eggcorn Database celebrates minor fender benders on the great freeway of English usage. Eggcorns (the term comes from a misuse of the word "acorns") are grammatical whoopsies like "vintage point" for "vantage point," "backpeddle" for "backpedal," and "run the gambit" for "run the gamut." Most of these are homophone substitutions, or the misuse of similarly sounding words. If you're into this kind of stuff (guilty!), editor Chris Waigl provides impressive, OED-like listings with citings and analyses. While some examples are particularly egregious and ego-massaging (consider "zero-sum gain", social morays, and French benefit), you may discover a few shameful eggcorns in your own closet. We got busted on "demure" for "demur" -- a mistake we'll never make again.
via Yahoo! Picks


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