Posted Saturday, February 05, 2005 8:55:31 AM by Kim
Today as I was scanning the blog a story caught my educator's eye, a study done in the UK that maintains that teaching grammar is a waste of time. OK, that looks like a yawner, but reading down further I was amused by something that the blogger mentions. How certain phrases get butchered in common usage and become something much more funny that the writer or speaker intended. Chris Lieberman coined the phrase "eggcorns" in honor of a woman who wrote eggcorns when she meant to say acorns.
Still yawning? OK, stay with me here. The fun part of this comes when you turn to Google and look for examples of the mis-statements and mis-spokements as they're archived on-line. In today's example the author referred to teaching (and learning) grammar as being "dull as dishwater" (given) and then searched for that phrase on Google with some eggcorns in mind, for dull as dirtwater. Some other more entertaining examples can be found at this post from last year where common eggcorns are sought out. It's amazing how many examples of this type of thing can be found archived and squirreled away. "Star craving mad", "deep seeded ignorance", and of course, everyone's favorite "self-defecating sense of humor".
OK, OK, maybe there are only 342 people in the entire world that enjoy these, but count me among the chosen few. It might have all started when I had a student who claimed that she couldn't find many good references on-line for Martin Luther King while doing a research project. Turns out that when I checked her search terms she was actually looking for Martian Luther King--you know, the famous inter-planetary civil rights leader. Google lists 15,200 hits for that phrase, including, at number two, free essays that students can help themselves to on-line.
Category tags: Using the Web