Piping up about the Pike

Continuing my series on eggcorns and malapropisms in meetings (previous installment: “flushing out” versus “fleshing out”), I bring you the “down the pipe” versus “down the pike” debate.

I’m definitely in the “pike” camp, as I’d always heard of things “coming down the pike” even if I didn’t really internally the full meaning. I think I’d always assumed it meant turnpike and not the fish or the poleaxe, but who knows.

Maybe I’m just too trusting of institutionalized linguistics and didn’t question the knowledge. Either way I picked right correctly.

Here are my “sources”. See for yourself:

The Eggcorns Database
Absolute Write

Of course, even those sites still have discussion about “pipe” as not only being valid, but also a meaningful and equal modernization. Think of “close the vest” becoming “close to the chest”. Both convey the same meaning, one is just more “classic” and original.

Here are some other discussions on the topic.

Pike == Turnpike and/or 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair reference
Pipe == 20th century plumbing and/or the internet

Until next time, I’ll be working on more posts “coming down the pike”. Or is it “pipe”?

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