stuff about where I live and play, and maybe some stuff about where I work and play.


intensive purposes

i was in a rather large meeting the other day at work, and the person presenting used the phrase "for all intensive purposes." i looked around to see if anyone else was as amused by the mishap as i was, but i didn't sense any reactions to the seemingly obvious misuse of that phrase. so that got me wondering, which led to some googling, which led me to the "eggcorn database"

never heard of it? me neither. in case you are wondering, here's what it is all about:

"This site is devoted to collecting the kind of unusual English spellings that have come to be called eggcorns. Eggcorn, the word, is a coinage that goes back to the excellent Language Log. The About page retraces the history of the term and offers more information on how this site came to be."

anyhoodle, i found the entry on what i was looking for, and here's a little snippet:

intents and purposes » intensive purposes

Chiefly in: for all intensive purposes


Spotted in the wild:

I know there is more to it then that, but for all intensive purposes it makes more sense to use what we already have as opposed to rewriting the whole damn thing, right? (
Dev Shed Java help forum)

Analyzed or reported by:
Mark Israel (
alt.usage.english FAQ)

Allan Hazlett at useandmisuse

I was one of the few who, upon learning (fairly late in life, I recall) that “for all intensive purposes” is a malapropism, was not embarassed that I had spent to many years not saying “for all intents and purposes,” but rather lamented the fact that “for all intensive purposes” was not an expression in English. It seemed so well to capture what I meant when I uttered it - when we consider only those purposes that are intensive, that’s the sense in which this is a good idea. It’s a good idea for all intensive purposes, but not for some of your other purposes that aren’t so intensive.

The makings of a true eggcorn: it just makes sense.

anyway, thought i'd share the wealth.

i would also like to leave you with this:

you're welcome!


hotpants said...

funny cat pictures never get old.

Pretty Lush said...

I need to be on that site at all times. My cheap thrills are misused/mispelled English.