Dinosaur Comics recently turned me on to the Language Log website and the concept of eggcorns, which are mistakes made in writing based on phonetics. For instance, “for all intents and purposes” becomes “for all intense and purposes.” (That particular eggcorn really grinds my goat, but I digress.)
Anyway, I went a-browsing on the eggcorn database and the first specimen I saw made me laugh so hard that milk shot out of my nose (which was pretty impressive, because I was drinking orange juice at the time.)
The eggcorn in question is the substitution of “elk” for “ilk.”
The excerpt reads: “Without addressing these issues, NOW and others have nothing to offer the average Jane and in consequence, have allowed Sarah Palin and her elk to define women’s issues.”
Which is even funnier because the sentence does make sense that way.
Who knows? Maybe it’s not a mistake at all. Maybe Sarah Palin really has a pet elk and they go around defining women’s issues and stuff. I would not put it past her.
PS: Sarah Palin and her Elk sounds like a great title for a children’s book don’t you think? Dibs.