The Dish thread that won’t quit:
My twenty-four-year-old daughter has Down syndrome. While she has plenty to say and can be understood by most people, her speech sometimes takes some interesting twists and turns. She does her own laundry, often when I’m not at home. Occasionally a sock or something else falls into the laundry tub, blocking the drain. As the washer empties into the tub, it fills up and the water ends up on the basement floor. The wash machine shuts down and won’t finish the cycle. I get home and she explains the problem. The wash machine, she says, is overfloating.
I came across my favorite eggcorn because I‘m a huge ice hockey fan.
In online chats I’ve seen many English-speaking fans lament the poor quality of their team’s defense “core.” While every team in every sport probably has a defensive core in some sense, these folks have misheard broadcasters and analysts referring to a team’s defense corps, i.e., the group of the team’s defensemen as a whole. Kind of ironic for a sport that has so many French-speaking followers in North America.
I just read a blog post where someone was fighting “tough and nail” for a position. Not one I’d heard before.
My 5-year-old just used an eggcorn and I felt compelled to email you. I gave him one of my parental “looks” in response to some mild misbehavior, and he asked me why “I was raising my eyebrowns”.
When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict, I’d recently started working at an international organisation. At the canteen table over lunch some colleagues were discussing the new pope’s personal history and views on social issues. We were joined by a colleague from Poland who I didn’t yet know very well. “Have you heard what the Italian media have nicknamed the new Pope?” she asked, in heavily accented English. We shook our heads. I heard: “Papa Nazi.”
“Ah,” I said. “We were just talking about how he was in the Hitler Youth. He does still seem to have pretty right-wing opinions, doesn’t he?”
My other colleagues looked down, embarrassed, while my Polish colleague launched into an impassioned defence of Benedict’s theology and how he’d been forced into the Hitler Youth against his will. I was confused: if she felt that way, why pass on a joke about it?
It was only an hour later, back at my desk, that the penny dropped. Polish – probably Catholic. Italian media – probably not making Nazi jokes. I went to Google, and discovered that they had in fact nicknamed him Papa Ratzi.
I penned an embarrassed email to my Polish colleague, who responded gracefully. But I’ve never been able to shake thinking of Benedict as Papa Nazi.
My friend used to think “miniature golf” was “minutes of golf.” I think a lot of eggcorns are the result of the Boston accent (“min-ah-tcha gawlf”).
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this one yet. My dad’s a doctor who specializes in cardiology and internal medicine. As a kid, anytime he mentioned having to swing by the ICU (intensive care unit), I thought he was referring to the “I See You.”
I worked in land surveying for several years with a very bright crew chief. Unfortunately, he got it in his head that a “guy wire” (those wires that run from the top of a utility pole to the ground) was a “guide wire.” I never corrected him, and even though I always said it correctly, he either didn’t notice, or thought I was an idiot. We’re still friends and I still don’t have the heart to tell him. (If you publish this, though, I WILL post it to Facebook).