Posted by: episystechpubs | December 14, 2015

Editor’s Corner: A few more malapropisms for Monday

Good Monday, to you!

I have a few more malapropisms for you fromGoing to Hell in a Hen Basket: An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Malapropisms,by Robert Alden Rubin.

· dough-eyed
It’s tempting to speculate that the fairly recent term doe-eyed (meaning a look that is soft, feminine, and perhaps somewhat blankly naïve) may have been an eggcorn itself, deriving from dew or dewy.

· French benefits
Many employed in France enjoy generous fringe benefits, such as a month of paid vacation, but the French model of compensation has not become a byword in the USA. It has, however, become and eggcorn, if a rare one.

· futile lords
Seen from today, the petty warring of medieval nobles certainly seems futile—a time when might made right and literacy was rare. But scholars who’ve studied the so-called feudal system say the reasons for medieval conflicts were more logical than most people believe.

· run the gambit, run the gamete
Running the gamut
means playing the entire range of notes on a musical scale. A gambit, originally a chess term, is a strategic move. A complex gambit could run the gamut of all possible strategic options. A gamete is a haploid (half) cell that joins another to create a fertilized egg.

· holiday’s sauce, Holland Days Sauce
The deliciously creamy French butter, egg, and lemon sauce known as hollandaise is suitable for holidays, especially when served with fish. Its name means sauce of Holland, so Holland Day isn’t as wrongheaded as it seems.

· the invincible hand
Sometimes a deliberate pun about card games. Adam Smith’s classic metaphor for the laws of supply and demand in a free-market economy, an invisible hand, holdsthat such forces are more or less invincible, and will self-correct if governments don’t interfere.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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