Eggcorns
North Carolina Literary Review, Summer 2008
Dr. Catherine Carter

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EGGCORNS

“The word eggcorn was coined collectively by the linguists. . . someone had written egg corn instead of acorn. ..[T]he substitution involved[s] more than just ignorance: an acorn is shaped more or less like an egg; and it is a seed, just like grains of corn. . . . The crucial element is that the new form makes sense. . . more sense than the original form in many cases.”

Chris Waigl, http://eggcorns.lascribe.net

Making perfect
sense, if different
sense, their young users wonder
hallways, nip problems in the butt,
get past me by a hare’s breath.
Eggcorns lighten the daze
of reading and grating: free-raging,
they are liminal, lycanthropic, changing
from the gecko. They are deep-seeded
language disseminating
itself; they are words on the move,
like water hurrying downhill to slack
some internal thirst, but not averse
to a pause on the way
for an eddy, a sudden swirl
to enjoy a mute point
or to party hardy.
And they are what I bring
home to you, who love them
too, who are yourself forever
knew and ongoing as live
language, live water,
try though I do
to take you for granite.


 

Dr. Catherine Carter
Director of English Education
421 Coulter Hall
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
(828) 227-3931