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23 Juni 2004 @ 15:39
The soft sell  

Update: The eggcorn has now disappeared, but I am quite sure it used to be there. Damn perfectionists.


An eggcorn recently sighted on OxBlog:

So, if we don't think that the McDonalds ad on CBS makes them any more likely to soft-peddle news about obesity, then why should we think that an Amazon associates link makes them any more likely to give a good review to any given book?

Now, I know that there are discovery procedures for finding eggcorns in bulk, but I think I prefer the ones that come by chance, singly, and present themselves as remarkable because of the sense they make. If someone happens—or several someones happen—to write of a "flare for the dramatic" or "bate-and-switch tactics," I don't really care; those examples strike me as just so much orthographic confusion.

"Soft-peddle," on the other hand, at least in this context, has the advantage of being wrong in a meangingful way: the post is about advertising, and so the piano metaphor "soft-pedal" goes out the window in favour of something that looks like an antonym of "hard sell."

 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 23. Juni, 2004 14:48 (UTC)
Re: I love it!

*Groan*

鉄観音isolt on 23. Juni, 2004 16:23 (UTC)
Hmm, I always thought it really was "soft peddle," and I don't think I've ever heard it in a non-sales context.

I play the piano, too, so I am very familiar with the existence of the soft pedal... but I've never heard that verbed before.
LiseyDucknelsolidarida on 29. Juni, 2004 15:03 (UTC)
Hi, you friended me, i see you're friends with a few others i know so guess you must be someone i've run into online. Now i just need to know who...:)