Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or marked by hypercorrection.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. incorrect because of a mistaken idea of standard usage
  • v. To change (a word or phrase) to an incorrect form in the mistaken belief that it is standard usage.

Etymologies

hyper- +‎ correct (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It was a nonstandard usage that some grammarians would call "hypercorrect" because the error was made by trying too hard to be correct.

    Libertarian Blog Place

  • Gotcha with the “an professional” but “an history” always seemed hypercorrect to me.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » How Would an 18-to-20-Year-Old Go About Buying a Handgun?

  • They might have spent hours agonizing over the writing of a formal business letter and ended up with a semi-comical paragraph of hypercorrect British English (these guys were mostly Indian and Pakistani) and aural copy errors ("strubroorn" for stubborn was one that took me a while to figure out) and even the poor cats needed a letter and had five dollars.

    Nick Mamatas' Journal

  • Some big companies have begun to undertake efforts to zero in on human consciousness and capitalize on hypercorrect information flows.

    A Zero Carbon Footprint? What Individuals Can Do To Make It Happen

  • My father's insistent correction of me every time I said "I did good on that test" to "I did well" means that I now hypercorrect myself.

    lazarus Diary Entry

  • I take ASCRE (_BCH_) to be a hypercorrect formation by the scribes; _Ascra_ is metrically guaranteed at 34 'Ascra suo' and

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • At viii 15 _I_ has the hypercorrect _nil_ for _nihil_, and at xiii 26

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • So it may eventually happen that hypercorrect forms are accepted as normal, notwithstanding their dubious etymological provenance.

    Interesting Thing of the Day

  • Nevertheless, plenty of people, in a misguided effort to avoid final prepositions, hypercorrect by making their sentences clumsier.

    Interesting Thing of the Day

  • So if, for example, there originally was a nominative *ʔékwa-s 'horse' vs. a genitive *ʔekwá-s 'of the horse' in early Late IE and, let's say, a new "acrostatic" rule was imposed on vowel-ending noun stems (a.k.a. thematic noun stems) to fix their accent always on the first syllable regardless of case (thereby getting rid of some clunky root-only alternations of accent), then I would suppose that the resultant homophony of nominative and genitive *ʔékwa-s would be as disturbing for some Indo-European speakers as it is for modern English speakers who are prone to hypercorrect "Thomas' shoe" to "Thomas's shoe" to maintain the same distinction between the nominative subject "Thomas" and its potentially identical possessive form.

    Sporadic phonetic changes in the Indo-European case system

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