I have an acquaintance who sorts and orders his world in what seems to me to be an unusual fashion. For him, “world” is equivalent to “whirl,” in at least one sense.
One day, after a large thunderstorm, we observed a magnificent double rainbow and so began talking about rainbows. He held the idea that they were very special. In fact, he held the belief that rainbows bore a divine message particular to the occasion whenever they appeared. He wanted to know something more about them, so I explained as best I could.
He had only vaguely heard the word “geometry” and, for him, it was dark science and unavailable as a concept via the word itself. As I talked with him, I learned more about the order of things in his world. One thing led to another and near the close of our conversation, he mentioned the term “worldwind” in reference to a “whirlwind” that we had seen at the start of the storm. It was another portent from above for him. “World” was the same as “whirl” at least as far as “whirlwinds” went. Far be it from me to have vigorously contested his view.
So I became curious about the word “whirl” with a special interest in seeing if interchangeability with the word “world” might have made it into the language, and if so, when. I set out upon the journey.
Along the way, I discovered a “blond pig” as in “even a blond pig will find an eggcorn once in a while” and much more. For instance, at:
In response to the query:
“: Hello, I was just hoping to find out the origin and meaning of the saying which goes something like “sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.” Thanks!”
There was this marvelous reply:
Posted by SilverHawk on April 06, 2004,
“this is a biblical verse “those who sow the wind shall reap the worldwind” it means that that those to sow little seeds of evil (wind) shall eventually have to harvest the entire crop of damage (worldwind). simillar in meaning to “what goes around comes around.” but with a warning that it comes back multiplied. it may seem insignificant at the time of sowing (e.g. gossip/rumour) but it can grow into a full blown worldwind which will eventually distroy all including the sowers.”
Because the responder at least saw the term “whirlwind” in the query, I am tempted to refer to this as a “Blind Eggcorn.”
I’ve run across many examples over the last few years, mainly on the internets. Until now, I haven’t been keeping any detailed notes. I wonder if any here have ever looked into “whirl” for “world” making it into use? It seems to me that the increasing accessibility of the internet may foster a storm of such eggcorns.