I’d never heard of eggcorns before this afternoon. Apparently the word was used by somebody (I have no idea who) to refer to acorns. This came to the attention of a linguist, and the group of linguists at Language Log began to use this term to refer to the spontaneous reshaping of terms and expressions.
I’ve been trawling through the database of eggcorns, and while some are, I think, due to simple spelling errors, others are flat-out hilarious. I’m just sorry that the only ones I’ve encountered so far in real life are the rather boring per say, and off one’s own back.
Some of my favourites:
- Like a bowl in a china shop
- Cease and decease (I’m definitely going to start using that one)
- Lack toast and tolerant
- Social morays
- Windshield factor
- To get one’s nipples in a twist
- Chickens come home to roast.
I’m hoping to get some writing done tonight. I shall have to be careful to use a posable thumb, hope I don’t lapse into a comma, and be very pacific about my subject matter.