They let their emotion crowd their judgment.

Don't let your personal feelings cloud your judgement.

I've seen the both expressions. Do they mean the same?

Since Stephie asked, here is the actual sentence.

"People are emotional, they've heard the story, they feel compassionate, and rather than using their logic to support or give, they let their emotion crowd their judgment."

(Crowdfunding and the downside of helping needy strangers, CBC news, March 7 2015)

  • 2
    Pretty sure crowd is just people mis-understanding the actual phrase, cloud one's judgement. – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 20:30
  • There are zero results on the Ngram for "crowd". books.google.com/ngrams/… – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 20:49
  • While I am inclined to agree with @Catija, do you have an actual source for your quote with "crowd"? – Stephie Mar 7 '15 at 21:18
  • In case you're curious, these are often called eggcorns or oronyms en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggcorn – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 21:41
  • In that example, the news source is directly quoting the speaker. They're not using the phrase themselves. – Catija Mar 7 '15 at 21:49

There are a couple things going on here.

First off, I don't believe to crowd your judgement is an actual phrase. I think it's a misstating of the correct phrase:

to cloud your judgement

There is a concept (in English at least) of an eggcorn or oronym, which is a commonly misunderstood phrase:

In linguistics, 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 (sometimes called oronyms). The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease".

Note that it is still plausible... crowd your judgement could be something... as a native English speaker I get what they mean.

Which is why I think they may be conflating cloud your judgement with something like stand out from the crowd, which is an idiom that sort of means the opposite if you think of it:

makes your idea stand out from the crowd

means that you're making the ideas prominent and more noticeable.

emotion clouds their judgement

Means that the judgement is obscured and made difficult to make the correct decision.

Also note that the subject of the conversation in that article is crowdfunding. This could even be a simple slip of the tongue... or something like a Freudian slip... but without the psychological connotations.

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