By an amazing coincidence I discovered, while reflecting on language & music, an article in New Scientist (26 Aug) about
eggcorns . These occur when one hears a word and accidentally opts for an incorrect homophone – often with amusing results.
I wondered how many of these might be taking place within the minds of pupils without my knowledge and recalled two incidents from my early days of teaching.
The first one was enough to warn me off open questions when seeking a particular answer. A pupil insisted in cocking his wrist and I intended to advise against the damage this can do to tendons.
Q. Do you know what runs through your wrist?
A. Loadsae things.
There was no arguing with that.
The second was a classic eggcorn, although I didnt realise it at the time.
Q. Whats double forte?