September 29, 2010

Dog Jog 2010

The annual DogJog in the city where I live always marks the day of the first entry in this blog for me. That was 5 years ago. We're still here, just a little busier than five years ago, due to a non-canine addition to our family. My dog is now an experienced dog jogger now, politely greeting other dogs at the event.

The motto this year? Fly like a beagle!

It was a bit of a rainy day, but a good time was had by all.

September 22, 2010

bacha posh

In a society that values boys much higher than girls, families with no male offspring may decide to raise a girl as a boy, a "bacha posh" (dressed up as a boy), at least until puberty. It gives the family recognition and makes it possible for the little girl to play outside, run errands, etc.

For most such girls, boyhood has an inevitable end. After being raised as a boy, with whatever privileges or burdens it may entail, they switch back once they become teenagers. When their bodies begin to change and they approach marrying age, parents consider it too risky for them to be around boys anymore.


Eggcorn made it to the OED -- and LanguageLog justly celebrates the occasion. And here's the posting on LanguageLog that put eggcorns on the linguistic map.

It's not a folk etymology, because this is the usage of one person rather than an entire speech community.
It's not a malapropism, because "egg corn" and "acorn" are really homonyms (at least in casual pronunciation), while pairs like "allegory" for "alligator," "oracular" for "vernacular" and "fortuitous" for "fortunate" are merely similar in sound (and may also share some aspects of spelling and morphemic content).
It's not a mondegreen because the mis-construal is not part of a song or poem or similar performance.
Note, by the way, that the author of this mis-hearing may be a speaker of the dialect in which "beg" has the same vowel as the first syllable of "bagel". For these folks, "egg corn" and "acorn" are really homonyms, if the first is not spoken so as to artificially separate the words.
[update (9/30/2003): Geoff Pullum suggests that if no suitable term already exists for cases like this, we should call them "egg corns", in the metonymic tradition of "mondegreen", since the eponymous solution of "malapropism" and "spoonerism" is not appropriate.]