Grammar Eggcorns

Eggcorns

English is full of little "eggcorns,” words that are commonly misinterpreted or mispronounced and that which lead to misspellings. The word "eggcorn" itself was derived from the mispronunciation of acorn, and there are others such as old-timer’s disease for Alzheimer’s disease or card shark for cardsharp. While not all "eggcorns," some of the expressions in the sentences below can be misused. Without using Google, see if you can complete them with the correct word.
  1. Rebecca was determined to be proactive and to nip this problem in the (butt, bud, bod).
  2. He was disinterested; he (couldn’t care less, could care less, could of cared less) either way.
  3. She didn’t feel bad; after all, this is a (doggie dog, dog-eat-dog, snoop doggy dogg) world.
  4. He (should a, should of, should’ve) known better.
  5. If that’s what she believes, she’s got another (think, tang, thing) coming.

  1. To nip in the bud, as in a plant growth, is to stop it from flowering into something bigger than it already is. The other two suggest some sort of undesired come-on. (Rebecca!)
    Rebecca was determined to be proactive and to nip this problem in the bud. 

  2. In other words, it is impossible for him to care less. If he could care less, then he must care at least a little.
    He was disinterested; he couldn’t care less either way. 

  3. A dog’s life, dog tired, the dogs of war, phrases with dog always seem to have a pejorative meaning, so doggie dog would seem to make sense, but the correct phrase is dog eat dog.
    She didn’t feel bad; after all, this is a dog-eat-dog world. 

  4. Should have is grammatically correct. The other similar sounding phrases come from corruptions of its contraction.
    He should’ve known better. 

  5. Despite Judas Priest’s song, the original phrase went as follows: If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming. Although you got another thing coming could be HSN’s next slogan. And who wouldn’t want another glass of tang? It’s delicious.
    If that’s what she believes, she’s got another think coming. 
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