Browse Definitions :

Was that a worldwind or a whirlwind?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
Novell went on a three-week _______ tour promoting SUSE Linux Enterprise.
a. whirlwind
b. worldwind

Answer: a.

Explanation:
This one’s for my husband, Douglas Malcolm, who reaped the worldwind in his time as an English prof (along with other gems like “bethatasitmay” and an essay on the myth of Icarus and Dicarus*).

Worldwind (sometimes spelled world wind) is an eggcorn. (According to Nancy Friedman (@fritinancy), an eggcorn is “a mis-heard term that’s assigned a creative spelling (and definition too, usually). The Eggcorn Database lists six citations of world wind for whirlwind, and they’re probably just the tip of the cyclone.”

Friedman reaped her worldwind and reported on it in a 2009 post, Eggcorns Caught in Love Nest. She was shocked by a deeply purple email from disgraced NC governor Mark Sanford to his Argentinian mistress. Well, it was not the deep purple prose that shocked Friedman (Sample: “the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light”), but a totally G-rated phrase: “taking the family to China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand and then back through Hong Kong on world wind tour.”

World wind. I’m a little iffy on public disclosure of private matters, like affairs. But I do feel that an error like world wind tells us something about the writer — and it may be something that means they shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office.

*Correction:

Husband: I think you did some creative remembering about Icarus and Dicarus.

Me: It was something along those lines. Diddleous?

Husband: Maybe Diddleous. The one I remember the most was the character Fortunato in Poe’s Cask of Amontillado which spell check converted to Fourteenth and was referred to with great confidence throughout the essay as Fourteenth, as in “Fourteenth said …”

 Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

Networking
  • firewall as a service (FWaaS)

    Firewall as a service (FWaaS), also known as a cloud firewall, is a service that provides cloud-based network traffic analysis ...

  • private 5G

    Private 5G is a wireless network technology that delivers 5G cellular connectivity for private network use cases.

  • NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure)

    NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure) encompasses all of the networking hardware and software needed to support ...

Security
  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • operational risk

    Operational risk is the risk of losses caused by flawed or failed processes, policies, systems or events that disrupt business ...

CIO
  • Risk Management Framework (RMF)

    The Risk Management Framework (RMF) is a template and guideline used by companies to identify, eliminate and minimize risks.

  • robotic process automation (RPA)

    Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology that mimics the way humans interact with software to perform high-volume, ...

  • spatial computing

    Spatial computing broadly characterizes the processes and tools used to capture, process and interact with three-dimensional (3D)...

HRSoftware
  • OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

    OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) encourage companies to set, communicate and monitor organizational goals and results in an ...

  • cognitive diversity

    Cognitive diversity is the inclusion of people who have different styles of problem-solving and can offer unique perspectives ...

  • reference checking software

    Reference checking software is programming that automates the process of contacting and questioning the references of job ...

Customer Experience
  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

  • customer profiling

    Customer profiling is the detailed and systematic process of constructing a clear portrait of a company's ideal customer by ...

Close