Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Heron Ate the Herring

Where did the red herring go? The red heron wasn't distracted by it; I believe the red heron ate it.

The substitution of red heron for red herring is called an eggcorn. I came across this eggcorn in the wild yesterday on the geocaching website in response to one of my tricky geocache hides.

Linguist Geoffrey Pullum coined the term that is defined as the mistaken substitution of one word or phrase for another word or phrase that sounds similar or identical. The speaker or writer of an eggcorn is generally not aware of the blunder.

From what I can tell, other than the St. Julian wine, there is no such thing as a red heron.

Eggcorn image via
Red herring image via
Red heron image via

1 comment:

arryana said...

my favorite of these is to use something as an "escape goat"...

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