spurn
Posted: 13 April 2007 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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On a movie discussion board someone posted the remark ”Most people do not realize that the majority of Europes borders, laws, and inventions were spurned during the era around the crusades”. I queried what she meant, since the only meaning of “spurn” that I (being English) know is “to kick aside in contempt”. She responded ”Spurned = in the US meaning ‘kicked started’”. Can the Leftpondians here confirm that the word is indeed used in this sense in the US? Is it a common meaning? The commonest? If so, do Americans use it in the original sense at all?

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Posted: 13 April 2007 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think she’s confusing “spurred” with “spurned”, and even then her word choice is a few degrees off center.  I’ve never heard this usage and I believe it’s just a malapropism on her part. The standard US usage is the same as you describe.

Edit: on checking, I see that this solecism is common enough to have been noted in the Eggcorn Database. So she’s not the only one making this error, but I’d still definitely consider it an error.

[ Edited: 13 April 2007 07:58 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 13 April 2007 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Not to mention the wildly inaccurate historical claim that the “majority” of borders, laws and inventions were developed in this period, and the apparent inference that the Crusades were in some way responsible.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Interesting: I’d never run across this either.  I agree with Dr. T that it’s an error.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It probably was far from her mind but it’s interesting that the word spawned would have fit here too.

And belatedly checking Doc’s link I find that’s exactly what it says.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Checking now in the AHD, oddly, an archaic usage of “spurn” is in fact to kick, though I doubt anybody checked before they got the modern meaning completely wrong. “Spawn” does seem right. The last time I remember hearing “spurn” on TV was on Star Trek with Kirk saying “Spurn him!” The difficulty of distinguishing an “n” and an “m” may have something to do with the words apparent demise, or maybe people are just confusing the idea of spurn and spawn ... and maybe since the Starr report on Clinton was drilled into the head of everyone over the age of four nobody can avoid it.

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Posted: 15 April 2007 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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"Spurn/spawn/sperm” --- this one sounds simply like people with no great regard for language, muddling up words that sound alike. it happens often enough. I’ve seen people (well, journalists) say “mitigate against” when (presumably) “militate against” might have made some kind of sense.

In her copulative contortions,
Despite contraceptive precautions,
Little Ermyntrude
Let a (spawn?/spurn?...) intrude.
(Can anyone here do abortions?)

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Posted: 20 April 2007 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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"In her copulative contortions,
Despite contraceptive precautions,
Little Ermyntrude
Let a (spawn?/spurn?...) intrude.
(Can anyone here do abortions?)”

That’s damn funny Lionello , where is it from?

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