Interested in Language
Whether the 'cat' was a real moggy or the flail-like whip used to punish sailors in the British Navy isn't clear. Many reports claim that the cat in question is the 'cat o'nine tails'. As so often though, they don't supply evidence, just certainty. As a candidate for folk etymology goes the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all - plausibility, a strong storyline and a nautical origin. That's enough to convince many people - the actual evidence shows the theory to be highly dubious. The phrase itself dates from at least the 17th century. Richard Kephale's Medela Pestilentiae, 1665:
In my opinion, the bolded sentence in italics is wrongly formulated. It shoud read like:
As far as a candidate for folk etymology goes, the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all (meaning as far as a candidate for folk etymology is concerned. ......).
As a candidate for folk etymology, the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all.
The corrected sentences are similar in meaning. I may be mistaken.
What is your opinion on that?
Yes, the original is incorrect. Your fixes work better. You could also say "As for being a candidate for folk etymology...".
This excerpt appears to be describing the origin of the idiom "not enough room to swing a cat".
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum