Thursday, August 07, 2008

An Eggcorn--on My Territory


I love eggcorns--some of them are better than the original turn of phrase.

Today, one hit my desk, in first proof, no less!

"Most weddings come with a healthy dollop of tense exchanges and awkward moments.... Diffusing these conflicts with grace is a must."

OK, setting aside the question of whether tense exchange are ever healthy, look at "diffuse."

Here's why I love eggcorns--good ones make perfect sense!

But of course, the idiomatic term is "defusing these conflicts"--and perhaps it's still the better term, bcs if you defuse them, you can stop them from blowing up in the first place. Diffusing them simply lessens the stinkiness.

2 comments:

chris said...

Yep, we've got that one: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/33/diffuse/

Cheers!

TootsNYC said...

Hi, Chris!

I knew that one was in the Eggcorn Database, and I've heard of it before.

I was just shocked to discover that it had crept past my border guards and into my realm.

I mean, I'm the 4th tier. 1st in the author, 2nd the line editor, 3rd the top editor, and 4th the copyeditor. I don't know who introduced it, but any one of those people could have known (and the copyeditor *should* have known) it wasn't the right idiom.

But that's one of the oddities about eggcorns; people who have them believe them so firmly. It never occurs to them that they don't know; they don't feel unsure.