Case ‘n Point

I  identified this lovely little eggcorn a little while ago. In case you didn’t already know, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker’s dialect. The word was coined by our very own GK Pullum, who heard of an American woman who thought that ‘acorns’ were ‘eggcorns.’ (I can’t really tell the difference, either.) For me, a speaker of American English, ‘and’ often reduces to a syllabic ‘n’, while ‘in’ does the same in certain environments. Because of this, there is no distinction between ‘case in point’ and ‘case and point’. I’ve never really known which one is the correct usage. ‘Case in Point’ has 2,600,000 hits on google. ‘Case and point’ has 3,590,000. So, both are in pretty rampant use. Are they both acceptable? I am guessing yes, as I could understand either, and I use both (since there’s no difference.) Is anyone here British: if so, which do you use? And which one was there first? I have no idea. But that’s what eggcorns do – they reflect a lack of a priori knowledge about something. And this is just another …wait for it… case’n’point. (You saw that coming, didn’t you? I know: I should’ve tried to use QED! Oh well. Too late now.)

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