My mother-in-law, a fellow word-play lover, turned me on to the Eggcorn Database, so I thought I’d try to strum up support for what they’re doing to catalog the ongoing daily damage to (or enhancement of…you decide) the English language.
The database has nearly 600 instances of common expressions in English which, via a homonym or near-homonym substitute (in lame man’s terms, a word that sounds the same), result in really oddly apropos but totally novel (and hilarious) coinages.
For example, you might think you have free reign to use English how you see fit, but for that you’d need to be a monarch rather than simply riding on horseback. I am not trying to ferment trouble here. On the contrary, once you’ve mastered a few of these you might just pass the SAT with flying collars.
All tolled you wouldn’t think there are so many of these eggcorns around, and truth be told, for all intensive purposes you might not recognize all that many when you do come across them. You mine as well grin and bare it. (Or is it grim and bear it?) We all have to bare the brunt of this assault!
In the mist of all these eggcorns, all this pigeon English, where can we get any piece of mind? (Okay that last one is not in the database…yet.) As you pour over the New York Times, see if you can spot any (I found one on line the other day, and didn’t spill a drop).
Well I hope I’ve peaked your interest, or at least wetted your appetite. I’ll sieze and desist now. After all I am a ten year professor and should have better things to be doing, at least if I want to stay gamefully employed.