Thursday, November 1, 2007

Are You Waiting With "Baited" Breath for Your Favorite Team to Get "Untracked"?

Did you notice anything wrong with the title of this post? It contains two examples of "eggcorns"--a term used by linguists for a "spontaneous malapropism" (such as misspelling "acorn" as "eggcorn"). Sports journalism is littered with eggcorns and even distinguished figures like Al Michaels--arguably the greatest active play by play announcer--use them; the normally well-spoken Michaels often refers to a player or team getting "untracked," which of course begs the question of what exactly it would mean to be "tracked" in the first place.

Here are a couple other sports eggcorns:

The use of "verse" as a verb (i.e., "We’re going to be versing the Brown Bombers next week").

The use of "wanton to do" instead of "wont to do."

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