I am absolutely delighted to learn that Geoff Pullum’s coinage eggcorn (which I wrote about back in 2004) has made it to the official word-hoard of the English language. There is now a draft entry (Sept. 2010) for eggcorn, n., 1. = ACORN n., 2. An alteration of a word or phrase through the mishearing or reinterpretation of one or more of its elements as a similar-sounding word. In allusion to sense 1, which is an example of such an alteration. Here are the citations:
2003 M. LIBERMAN Egg Corns: Folk Etymol., Malapropism, Mondegreen? (Update) in languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu (Weblog) 30 Sept. (O.E.D. Archive), Geoff Pullum suggests that if no suitable term already exists for cases like this, we should call them ‘egg corns’, in the metonymic tradition of ‘mondegreen’. 2004 Boston Globe (Nexis) 12 Dec. K5 Shakespeare’s Hamlet said he was ‘to the manner born’, but the eggcorn ‘to the manor born’ has wide currency. 2006 New Scientist 26 Aug. 52/2 Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar or archaic word with a more common one, such as ‘old-timer’s’ disease for Alzheimer’s. 2010 K. DENHAM & A. LOBECK Linguistics for Everyone i. 13 Crucially, eggcorns make sense, often more than the original words.
I got the good news from Ben Zimmer’s post at the Log.