Friday, October 1, 2010

If an eggcorn falls in the backyard ...

Real estate, as we all know, has its own (often euphemistic) shorthand. But this odd term, from a Boston-area ad,  appears to be just a mishearing/misunderstanding -- in short, an eggcorn:
This is a solid mulit level house that is ready to move in and ready for your improvements. Roof seems good, older Anderson Windows, large lot (ingrained pool needs to be filled in ).
True, an eggcorn is typically inspired by a word that's somewhat opaque, and it's hard to imagine a more transparent term than "in-ground pool." Nor is in-ground a recent coinage. The OED dates it to 1973 -- "orig. U.S., of an outdoor swimming-pool: built into the ground (as distinct from one placed above ground), esp. at a private residence." And Google News turns up a 1962 ad in the Milwaukee Journal, seeking franchisees to sell a "low priced inground pool to reach mass market."

So how does in-ground become ingrained? I think the connection must be the (relative) permanence of the hole-in-the-ground pool; ingrained originally meant "dyed,"  and it still means "deep-seated, worked deeply into the texture or fiber" (AHD, via Wordnik). An  above-ground pool is removable; not so the ingrained kind.

If I were one of those word watchers who can read minds, I suppose I would accuse the "ingrained pool" people -- Google turns up a couple dozen of them -- of "trying to sound elegant," or something like that. Alas, I seem to be missing the telepathy gene; all I can do is record this interesting substitution.

27 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the term "eggcorn" and I've never heard of it before, even though I have an ingrained fondness for delicious words.

Kay
Alberta, Canada

nuclearheadache said...

I don't know. Doesn't sound like something I'd want to swim in.

Drackar said...

That...is a odd substitution.

Juniper said...

But what about the 'mulit level house'? :-P

~Juniper~

The Wash Pond Navigator said...

WRT "ingrained" what if some real estate maven wrote "ingrnd" and some copy editor/compositor (are there such things anymore?) was NOT a real estate maven?

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

Hello, new to your blog but I found an eggcorn. The writer was talking about a "grizzly" site. Made me laugh....

The Book Nut said...

I am in charge of the maintenance of two hotels including the pools. These pools are a constant "thorn in the flesh" for me. I have had the opportunity to talk to other pool owners who feel the same as I do about them. So I submit another term: an ingrown pool (of course picturing an ingrown toenail helps this term come to life!)

I suppose the pleasure derived from a pool is meant for those who don't have to take care of them!

JeffScape said...

There's a bad habit in the military to refer to incendiary devices as "incinerary."

You have no idea how crazy that made me.

farmgirlatheart said...

I've had a couple of adult friends, who are teachers, that have similar issues with language. One always says "eggsorb" in place of "absorb" and the other regularly refers to that large building at a school that holds all the books a "li-bear-y."

My sentiment is a shake of the head, hand to the forehead and a muttered, "Good grief!"

Katie said...

Maybe the person who said "inground pool" has a thick accent and someone else heard "ingrained pool." Or maybe that's the new, hip term for a "garden."

<>< Katie

crystalnine said...

What took my attention was this part of the ad which goes: 'house that is ready to move in and ready for your improvement', because for purposes of parallelism, I think it should go: 'house that is ready for you to move in and ready for your improvement'. Besides, it certainly is not the house itself that will move in!

Lisa :-] said...

I wonder if this "ingrained" pool is surrounded by a "rod iron" fence...

jacksofbuxton said...

mulit level house?

I've got visions of a house that looks like the 80s version of Billy Ray Cyrus...

Joel C Anatoli said...

I love your blog. Always give my brain a zing!

jacksofbuxton said...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/corrections/errors-and-omissions/errors-amp-omissions-this-battle-against-the-misuse-of-pronouns-is-getting-personal-2095498.html

Rick S said...

I suspect a Cupertino. "Ingrained" is the first correction offered by my version of Microsoft Word (7.0) for either "ingroind" or "ingraund". The first is more likely, since "u" and "i" are adjacent on standard keyboards.

A Paperback Writer said...

This is like something one of my students would write. :)

Reena said...

I came across your blog due to blogger's Blogs of Note. I find your blog very helpful. Thank you for the nits you have picked.

Prathm Wanaaray said...

Eggcorn is never-heard-of word.but nice thought!!!
http://newnokian900.blogspot.com/

NebulaSprout said...

When I hear people use a word that is only very slightly wrong, such as participles instead of particles, I always wonder if I should correct them or not. The fear of being one of those annoying constant correctors keeps people from knowing their mistakes.

loop said...

Not being much of a wordie (I am a science guy), I have always liked how words and language evolve. Or, should I say "devolve"? Over time and space (geographical regions?)words may take on different meanings. It is fun, in the mean time, to read about little eggcorns.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a pro eggcorn-er. He can be "flustrated" and when impressed with someone, says "I've got to take my arm off to you". Also, "that's six, one half dozen the other" and "I hate to throw a wrench into the loop, but". I always know what he means though...

Anonymous said...

One more thing your errant quote contained: Andersen Windows is with an "e".

women'swork said...

Crystalnine says: ...because for purposes of parallelism, I think it should go: 'house that is ready for you to move in and ready for your improvement',

Which got me to thinking that if the house was really ready to move in(to), it probably wouldn't need your improvements, right?

So many things are amiss in this ad, not just the eggcorn.

Greg said...

Or it was simply transcribed by someone with a less than stellar command of English (and Real Estate). It's still better than for all intensive purposes.

Newspapers seem to man the advertising phone lines with semi-literate employees. Perusing the classifieds is almost always good for a chuckle.

Kristen said...

Like Rick S, I suspected a Cupertino. But a Google search shows this happens too often to be the result of a misbegotten spell check.

(And why are they called Cupertinos and not Redmonds?)

Anonymous said...

My wife says a marketing person(!) for a nursing home (long-term care facility) said "old-timer's disease" when she meant Alzheimer's disease.
Is this an eggcorn?