Accidental neologisms
Posted: 07 March 2017 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If one reads the news, real, “fake”, or TBD, the reports are often followed by orthographically challenged reader comments.
Some of these contain linguistic novelties.  This morning’s NY Times had a small gem in a reader comment about
Wikileaks and the current occupant of the White House, who was described as a carbungle.  I’m fairly sure the author meant to say carbuncle, but the error is apt.

A reader comment in today’s Salt Lake (Salt Lake City, Utah) Tribune described one of two recent State Attorneys General, both charged with corruption, as egotestical.

A google search suggests that carbungle, at least in this usage, is a neologism as well as a spelling mistake.
Egotestical appears in the Urban Dictionary, so it’s just a sharp jab or a spelling error.

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Posted: 07 March 2017 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think the word for these is malapropism.

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Posted: 07 March 2017 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dave Wilton - 07 March 2017 11:57 AM

I think the word for these is malapropism.

If they were malapropisms, that would suggest that the writer mistakenly used an existing word in place of another word with a similar sound.  That may be the case with egotestical, though it is more likely that the use was intentional, but certainly not with carbungle.

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Posted: 07 March 2017 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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cuchuflete - 07 March 2017 06:41 PM

Dave Wilton - 07 March 2017 11:57 AM
I think the word for these is malapropism.

If they were malapropisms, that would suggest that the writer mistakenly used an existing word in place of another word with a similar sound.  That may be the case with egotestical, though it is more likely that the use was intentional, but certainly not with carbungle.

I don’t think they’re existing words. Neither of those words are entered in dictionaries. Egotestical, is only recognized on the Free Dictionary online.

A malapropism is an actual word used incorrectly. A neologism is a new word; a word about to be developed and recognized. Egotestical, as defined by the Free Dictionary is fairly synonymous with egotistical; therefore, I don’t see it as a neologism nor do I see its purpose.

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Posted: 08 March 2017 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, they’re not malapropisms. I’m not sure there’s a term for it. They’re humorous folk-etymologies.

Egotestical, as defined by the Free Dictionary is fairly synonymous with egotistical; therefore, I don’t see it as a neologism nor do I see its purpose.

The Free Dictionary simply pirates the American Heritage Dictionary (which is also free). The Free Dictionary doesn’t have an entry for egotestical, it just redirects searches for that word to the entry for selfishness, nor do they have a full entry for egotistical, which makes me wonder if the “editors” considered it a word or just redirected a misspelling to a synonym they did have an entry for.

As for it being a neologism, the Urban Dictionary has it from 2007, so that depends on how expansive your time frame for neologisms is. As for its purpose, if you don’t understand that…

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Posted: 08 March 2017 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dave Wilton - 08 March 2017 04:44 AM

Yeah, they’re not malapropisms. I’m not sure there’s a term for it. They’re humorous folk-etymologies.

This is an opportunity for the most creative among us (That leaves me on the sidelines) to come up with a term.

Term “X” — An inadvertently created new word resulting from a spelling error, and similar in both meaning and sound to the existing, misspelled term.

[ Edited: 09 March 2017 10:02 AM by cuchuflete ]
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Posted: 08 March 2017 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A famous (within the science-fiction fan community) example of this is “filk songs”, referring to songs written and sung by those in the community, and usually having an sf or fantasy connection. The term originated as a typo for “folk songs”, as you probably already guessed.

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Posted: 08 March 2017 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Filk is a little different because that’s just a typo, a slip of the fingers, that became an inside joke. Back in the heyday of Usenet, alt.folklore.urban (which to a large degree was the inspiration for this site) had several, such as pendantic for pedantic and cow orker for coworker, which gave rise to cow orking and orking of cows. (Voracious for veracious was another, but that’s a typo turned into malapropism.)

Carbungle and egotestical are more likely folk etymologies, mistakes made by people trying to make sense of the roots.

Other AFU wordplay included furrfu (ROT-13 encryption of sheesh), the BOA (Ban On Acronyms), and referring to emoticons as line noise (which dates the period I’m talking about).

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Posted: 09 March 2017 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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As for it being a neologism, the Urban Dictionary has it from 2007, so that depends on how expansive your time frame for neologisms is. As for its purpose, if you don’t understand that…

What I was trying to say, but perhaps not too clearly, was that if egotestical was actually a neologism it would be recognized in other dictionaries. The Urban Dictionary has it from 2007, I would think that after a decade the word, as a neologism, would be entered in other dictionaries and would have emerged in every-day conversation.

A neologism is a newly coined word which appears in every day usage, e.g. metrosexual, app, google, twerk-twerking.  I’ve never encountered egotestical, but I’ve come across many times the words mentioned previously.

Also, as I said in my previous post, the word is synonymous with egotistical with only one vowel distinguishing the two words. The words are ostensibly identical in meaning; therefore, I can’t see its purpose as a neologism.

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Posted: 09 March 2017 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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A neologism is a newly coined word which appears in every day usage, e.g. metrosexual, app, google, twerk-twerking.

A neologism is a newly coined word.

Everyday usage has nothing to do with it. Ten years is pushing the envelope for neologism, but it’s far from unheard of for words, especially slang terms, to take more than ten years to make it into dictionaries. Dictionary editorial staffs are small, and they have a lot of work to do. And it’s not just age; other considerations, like frequency or range of use play into when and if words are entered.

I’ve never encountered egotestical, but I’ve come across many times the words mentioned previously.

Personal experience is a terrible guide. Not only is an individual subject to the many cognitive biases that afflict us (such as frequency illusion (i.e., diegogarcity), recency illusion, and confirmation bias), but any individual’s idiolect does not overlap with large portions of other dialects. Just because it doesn’t appear in the books you tend to read or it isn’t used by the people you tend to speak with doesn’t mean that it isn’t common. Egotestical probably isn’t all that common in the great scheme of things, but the point is that you can’t tell that without a controlled survey of an appropriate corpus.

Also, as I said in my previous post, the word is synonymous with egotistical with only one vowel distinguishing the two words. The words are ostensibly identical in meaning; therefore, I can’t see its purpose as a neologism.

Since you obviously don’t get it, the significance is in the similarity between -testical and testicle, one who has the balls to think only of oneself.

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Posted: 09 March 2017 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Ah.  Speaking just for myself, I hadn’t seen it before and had not made the connection to testicle.

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Posted: 09 March 2017 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think we’ve discussed dord before, before it had a Wikipedia entry.

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Posted: 09 March 2017 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Everyday usage has nothing to do with it.

Why? I would think the everyday usage is how a word gets coined. After all, if it’s only used once it’s a nonce word. Egotestical doesn’t show up in any dictionary except Urban Dictionary; n-gram viewer or COHA do not recognize it. I would classify egotestical as a nonce word.

Since you obviously don’t get it, the significance is in the similarity between -testical and testicle, one who has the balls to think only of oneself.

No, I do get it, but my point was that egotestical has the same meaning as egotistical. The word egotesticle spelled with the cle ending, relating to testicle, is listed as a separate word and that would be defined as “…the whole world is sentered around one’s testicles, similar to egotistical except refering to the testicles.”

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Posted: 10 March 2017 04:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Why? I would think the everyday usage is how a word gets coined. After all, if it’s only used once it’s a nonce word. Egotestical doesn’t show up in any dictionary except Urban Dictionary; n-gram viewer or COHA do not recognize it. I would classify egotestical as a nonce word.

Nonce words are neologisms too, just not successful ones.

Popularity, while a factor, is not determinative of whether or not a word makes it into the dictionary. For example, a few days ago OP Tipping mentioned a sense of the verb gig that is in the OED, a sense that is probably in that dictionary because John Dryden happened to use it in one poem, not because it was ever in widespread use.

Whether or not a word makes it into a dictionary is not determinative of its classification or validity as a word. The only thing it tells you is that the word met that particular dictionary’s criteria for inclusion.

And COHA and Google Ngrams cover only published works. This type of folk etymological word is not likely to appear in published work—the editors would spike it first. (Both egotestical and egotesticle get hits when searching the NOW Corpus, which includes websites.)

I’m not saying that egotestical is going to catch on and become next year’s YOLO, but it is interesting in how it came to be, and it most definitely is a neologism.

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Posted: 10 March 2017 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Dave Wilton - 10 March 2017 04:51 AM

Why? I would think the everyday usage is how a word gets coined. After all, if it’s only used once it’s a nonce word. Egotestical doesn’t show up in any dictionary except Urban Dictionary; n-gram viewer or COHA do not recognize it. I would classify egotestical as a nonce word.

Nonce words are neologisms too, just not successful ones.

Popularity, while a factor, is not determinative of whether or not a word makes it into the dictionary. For example, a few days ago OP Tipping mentioned a sense of the verb gig that is in the OED, a sense that is probably in that dictionary because John Dryden happened to use it in one poem, not because it was ever in widespread use.

Whether or not a word makes it into a dictionary is not determinative of its classification or validity as a word. The only thing it tells you is that the word met that particular dictionary’s criteria for inclusion.

And COHA and Google Ngrams cover only published works. This type of folk etymological word is not likely to appear in published work—the editors would spike it first. (Both egotestical and egotesticle get hits when searching the NOW Corpus, which includes websites.)

I’m not saying that egotestical is going to catch on and become next year’s YOLO, but it is interesting in how it came to be, and it most definitely is a neologism.

That explains it, thank you.

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