Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've spotted a new eggcorn in the wild, that isn't mentioned in the eggcorn database. At least, it certainly has some of the elements of an eggcorn but is it a proper one? I'll let you decide.

Im fairly sure in heinz sight he perhaps regrets the decision ...

Unfortunately the interlocutor later asked the question

Why is it called heinz sight anyway?

casting doubt on the plausibility of the replacement.

share|improve this question
4  
I don't think this qualifies. What on earth could "heinz sight" plausibly mean? –  Brendon Nov 22 '11 at 2:06
2  
I didn't downvote; I commented because I didn't think it was. Also, I'm sure everyone knew you meant hindsight, but for something to be an eggcorn it must be plausible in its incorrect form. My question remains: what do you think "heinz sight" could mean? The view through a ketchup bottle? –  Brendon Nov 22 '11 at 2:47
4  
Heinz sight is 57? –  Andrew Vit Nov 22 '11 at 3:45
2  
It's a malapropism. If it's an eggcorn it's a very well disguised one - I can't think of a Heinz that had anything to do with vision. Instead, how about fourthsight? The uncanny ability to see that your karaoke performance will be a smash hit after too many whiskies. –  Optimal Cynic Nov 22 '11 at 4:44
3  
heinz sight: when you look at what has bean –  z7sg Ѫ Nov 22 '11 at 10:48
show 1 more comment

4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

No. Quoting Wikipedia:

[An eggcorn] introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease".[1] This is as opposed to a malapropism, where the substitution creates a nonsensical phrase.

There doesn't seem to be any plausible, sensical reading for Heinz sight in this context; so it's much more a malapropism than an eggcorn.

(Mark Liberman's original post gave a somewhat different classification, describing the contrast with malapropisms as one of pronunciation:

"egg corn" and "acorn" are really homonyms (at least in casual pronunciation), while pairs like "allegory" for "alligator" [...] are merely similar in sound

This would place Heinz sight as at least a borderline eggcorn. But subsequent usage seems to fit the classification Wikipedia gives much more closely than the original one.)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Yes. Quoting Wikipedia:

[An eggcorn] introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease". This is as opposed to a malapropism, where the substitution creates a nonsensical phrase.

It is not a malapropism because (to paraphrase Language Log) hind sight and Heinz sight are really homonyms (at least in casual pronunciation).

And the phrase makes sense, so long as you accept that Heinz Sight is a thing Heinz make to improve your sight. Just as much sense as oaks coming from eggcorns.

share|improve this answer
1  
True enough - provided we're willing to forget about the baked beans and assume Heinz is a global chain of leading-edge opticians that we somehow never heard of before. –  FumbleFingers Nov 25 '11 at 3:21
add comment

One possible way to turn this into an eggcorn is to rewrite as

I'm fairly sure in Hein's sight he perhaps regrets the decision.

Heinz then is probably a fun way of writing Hein's.

share|improve this answer
2  
Heinz is a popular purveyor of baked beans and tomato ketchup, so I can see why it could be that. But who or what is Hein? –  Hugo Nov 22 '11 at 9:26
1  
@Hugo: Piet Hein’s poetry reveals a rather interesting view of the world. –  PLL Nov 23 '11 at 22:22
add comment

A summary from Grammar Girl:

  • Spoonerisms are what you get when a speaker mixes up sounds, making phrases such as better Nate than lever.
  • Mondegreens are what you get when listeners mishear words; for example when people think the song lyrics are Sweet dreams are made of cheese instead of Sweet dreams are made of these.
  • Eggcorns are what you get when people swap homophones in phrases, such as spelling here, here H-E-A-R instead of H-E-R-E.
  • Malapropisms are what you get when someone substitutes a similar-sounding word for another, such as He's the pineapple of politeness instead of He's the pinnacle of politeness.

I agree with Optimal Cynic: heinz sight is a malapropism (although it sounds like something an Induhvidual would say -- which is probably the very definition of a malapropism...)

(Most famous mondegreen ever: "Excuse me while I kiss this guy.")

share|improve this answer
1  
I disagree vehemently with that definition of eggcorn. They are way, way, more than that. –  z7sg Ѫ Nov 22 '11 at 10:50
    
Grammar Girl is attempting a summary. The description of eggcorn in her article is in fact more extensive. –  Gnawme Nov 22 '11 at 15:35
4  
"here, here" as the correct form is just embarrassing. Wasn't Grammar Girl supposed to be a good source? –  Jürgen A. Erhard Nov 22 '11 at 19:43
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.