January 28, 2013 · 11:37 am
I’m steeped in amusement today
By a goof that keeps coming my way.
At least twice I have seen it
So it’s time that we clean it
From the phrases that some of us say.
Consider the little word curb;
It’s used as a noun and a verb.
Appetite or enthusiasm
Or or a bad muscle spasm,
It means to control or disturb.
A curb is a physical restraint;
With that use I have no complaint.
Curbside pickup or check-in,
Correct uses without reckon
But “a steep learning curb” it ain’t!
Note: Learning curb is a good example of an “eggcorn.” Have you more to throw into the basket?
June 28, 2010 · 7:46 am
My thanks go to Merl Reagle, editor of the crossword puzzle in The Washington Post’s Sunday magazine, who practically wrote this blog post for me.
I had intended to write a follow-up to pieces I posted earlier on mispronunciations, misspellings and malapropisms. Then Sunday’s puzzle beat me to it, using something Reagle called “eggcorns.”
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t done the Sunday puzzle and intend to, you will want to skip over this for now.
Eggcorns, Reagle explains, are things people say and write that are technically incorrect but have a logic of their own. For example, the business located to the right of yours is “next store.” Get it?
In the puzzle, the clues are what make the incorrect phrases or spellings correct. I will leave it to you to read those in the crossword itself. Here I will list a few of the answers as examples of commonly misspelled or mis-uttered phrases. We should take note, as I suspect we’ve all made at least one of these errors in our lifetimes. Recognize any?
- wet one’s appetite
- butt naked
- hone in on
- Here, here
- unchartered waters
- a tough road to hoe
If any of these looks correct to you, see me after class and I will tell you what it is supposed to be.