North Carolina Literary Review, Summer 2008
Dr. Catherine Carter

Gold Horizontal Line






“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,

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