Sunday, November 4, 2007

Malapropism Maven

by Jo Robertson

A malapropism is a word that is used incorrectly in place of another similar sounding word. In fact, the word comes from Richard Sheridan’s Eighteenth Century play The Rivals, in which Mrs. Malaprop constantly misuses words with a comic effect.

My daughters have a game they play where they try to make up malapropisms in their everyday conversation. The trick is to slip the word into the discussion as if you weren’t aware of the error and wait for someone to catch it. You get a point for inventing the malapropism and two points if no one catches it.

Now you have to understand that my youngest daughter Megan often uses malapropisms accidentally, but we never know which ones are intended and which ones aren't.

For example, she is talking to a neighbor who reveals that her husband enjoys playing guitar and keyboards. “Oh,” Megan cries, “my husband’s a magician too.” A little brain fart there. Of course, she meant musician.

Another example: At a party Megan joins a group of other women clustered around the couch. “Are we all conjugating here?” she asks. Uh, congregating?

So, wanna play the Malapropism Game? I’m giving away a fifteen-dollar Target gift certificate to the commenter who wins the award as the Malapropism Maven, the one who comes up with the most clever malapropism. You have to create a sentence using the word in context like the two examples I've given above. Ready, set, go!

My husband will be the judge and YES, Banditas can play! Have at it!

54 comments:

Christine Wells said...

Hey, Jo! As a teacher I bet you used to have a lot of students mixing up their homophobes and simians. As a writer of hystericals, I use a lot of unfamilial words, and velocity can be quite the hors-d'ouvre of the day. Malapropisms occidentally occur when one searches in vein for the right adjunctive with which to paper one's praise. But for the porpoises of this post, let me reitalicize--as a fun weekend exorcism, this bears off the palm-pilot, Jo-Marmalade. Hope we can do it again sunshine.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, boy. Did any of that make cents?

Anna Campbell said...

Honestly, Jo, I think Christine wins, don't you? Wow! I'm speechless! Sadly I'm brain dead, having finally got my book in and any malopropisms are purely accidental. True story - I was talking to my neighbors today about the fact that he'd bought her a golf buggy for her birthday. A really cool, super-dooper one. And I said the people at the golf club would have bugis envy. Now, you know where my mind was! Balls perhaps. Golf, no! I cringed, I tell you, cringed.

Buffie said...

Too funny ladies!!! I can't wait to reed what everyone else rights.

Buffie said...

Anna -- lady, you are just too hilarious!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

I'm predicamenting that Christine won handles down! As hard as I trident to do this I don't think I could come closure to her brilliance!

Kirsten said...

Oh Lordy, I'm just going to stand in awe of your brilliance, ladies. It's far too early to try to think of anything creative myself. :-)

Jo, you're a dangerous woman!

Joan said...

My brain is still on Daylight Savings Time.

I'm with Anna and Kirsten. Who could possibly outdo Christine or Suz?

Good job ladies!

jo robertson said...

ROTFLOL, Christine, sooooo funny. I don't think we Yanks can compete with our sisters across the pond!

Anna, my husband's an avid golfer, so he'll appreciate your faux pas!

Buffie and Suz, I'm amazed at how easily these roll off your tongues!

Kate Carlisle said...

Wow, it's a doggy dog world in here this morning. I'm not sure I can complete with Christine. Not only is she cleaver, she's nabbed the Garden Roaster!

I'm going to wander off and try to stink of something brilliant to beet her with. I know I'm culpable of brilliance. In fact, disguise the limit when I put my mind to it.

Anna Campbell said...

culpable of brilliance? I LOVE it!!! Kate, you certainly are cleaver.

Keira Soleore said...

Christine gets the Golden Rooster and crowing rights to the Malaprop Maven title. Then again, Kate's an extremely strong contender for the title. That was simply fantabulous, ladies!!

A yay to you, FoAnna, for sending off your m.s. Now for that massage and mani/pedi. Ahhh!

No excempt for cloverness hair.

Aunty Cindy said...

Good thing Jo's DH is the judge, coz if it was ME, Buffie would win... BUNS DOWN! *very evil grin*

AC

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo -

Finally I have a name for my oral malady - malapropism. I swear I know the write word, but it cones off my tonsil wrong. Thank heaven, I'm a righter so I can editorialize.

jo robertson said...

I feel like I've died and gone to PUN HEAVEN. Shouldn't known the Banditas would pun us to death!

jo robertson said...

Uh, that would be SHOULD HAVE known . . . duh!

doglady said...

Holy smokes, Christine! The Golden Rooster and a beaucoup of brilliance!

Helen said...

This really fun and it is something I do all the time but when my mind has gone to mush this morning and I can't think straight probaly because I have been laughing so much I say too awards to Christine today good on ya.
Have Fun
Helen

Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

You all are crackling me up! :)

Anna Campbell said...

I love the ideal that the golden roaster has gone to Muddy CW. She shows great lingusto in her ton-twisting doxy-terity.

Anna Campbell said...

Perhaps the crackling is on the golden roaster, Trish! And I think AC has a whipper sense of humor!

Caren Crane said...

Transcendentally, malapropisms are something my husband indulgences all the time. He wants to be elegant in his speech, but often sounds incontinent instead!

In trying to use everyday idiots, he often miss peaks and leaves listeners bepuddled. I have trident vain to perspirate his pattens of beach, but can never quite masturbate. I think if your brain doesn't respirate this way maturely, it can be almost responsible to double cake.

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, you whicker woman! You made me spate tea all over my quayboard. The vicious of you not quite managing to masturbate... Oh, my Dog!

Joan said...

LOL LOL LOL LOL!

Caren! You are more than cracking me up!

I swear, even if my brain weren't tried I'd never raze to your estimated level!

pearl said...

I can always look back on it as just one more day like any other, but it sure gives you something to compensate upon.

megan said...

As I read these clever comments from you writers, I am dumbstruck, not because you are such talented folks but that I can not understand ANYTHING you are writing. And Jo wonders why her youngest daughter never comments on her blogs. I'm just not intelligent enough. By the way, my husband says that I am a masterdebater! and he a cunninglinquist!

Shari C said...

You could knock me over with a fender; you are all too funny for words and I cannot stop laughing.
I can say without fear of contraception that reading all your condiments makes me wiggle a lot. The ironing is delicous.

Joan said...

ROTFLMAO shari c and megan...

and pearl....don't worry our formal righting is mooch easier to underestimate.

diane said...

Let me reverberate.

Anna Campbell said...

Diana, I often reverberate! In fact, I have a degree in studying reverberate animals!

anne said...

Make no delusions to the past.

Understand that this is a laizee affair form of government.

Give him the preverbial pat on the back.

Caren Crane said...

Foanna, perhaps I wasn't pacific enough in my explication of the masturbation. Just because I haven't been able to confiscate the meaning of my husband's speech doesn't mean he is incomprehensile. Some people understate him with no problem at all. I am almost postulate it is my own igneosity that is at fault.

Maybe someday I will be a genie like Christine and get on it with comprehensiousness!

Anna Campbell said...

OK, STOPPPPPPPPP!!!!! I'm busting a gut here with laughing. And I've started to use malapropisms to people with absolutely no connection with this blog. They'll be coming to take me away soon! I need metal therapy!

Caren Crane said...

Megan, I'm sure your husband is a cunninglinguist, you lucky girl! Though, how much masterdebating do you need to do with all the cunninglinguist activity going on? *g* Sorry, Jo!

Caren Crane said...

Foanna, metal therapy can only do you good. It helps to work all the kinks out of your subconjugal mind. When the subconjugal is in a twist, it leads to all sorts of consequiturs and misapprobations of behavior. Recent studies have shown that 10 out of 100 adulterers have unresolved subconjugal issues from their adolescents. In light of this information, any sort of metal therapy can only be beneficient!

Christine Wells said...

Oh, y'all crack me up! Metal therapy, Foanna? Shall I hit you with a CROW-bar? Sorry, now I'm puntificating, not malapooping all over the place.

Christine Wells said...

Beaucoup of brilliance, Doglady? I think we're all just show-posies.

Christine Wells said...

Hey, I was just larking at all the carvers on our bog--

There's this great berk called Calming the Shortest-hand. Anyone read it? Oh, and Untucked (or is it Untorched??), that's a brilliant piece of friction, too.

I'm reading The Eradication of Mrs. Brill-cream at the moment and laughing it! Sooo heart!
Then there's Darcy Dare and his brother Duffle Dare by our own Torn a Web-for. Dork and Delirious sounds like a great one from Jeans Ardent, don't you fink? Every Nought I'm Fours by Chris Tickly is one I'm waiting for with bartered breath as well.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, I want to read a book by Chris Tickley!!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am in awe of all the clever comments, I think daylight savings has skewed the brain cells here. I have to ask how many of you have been reading and automatically inserted the correct word in the comments and then went back and said "oh, there was one!" I have been doing it from the first, even knowing what you all were doing as I was reading I was putting in the correct words in my head. I think I must have been an editor or at the very least a proof reader in another life.

Christine Wells said...

Actually, hrdwrkmom, that's a trick your brain does when the first and last letters of a word are correct but the middle isn't-- you automatically correct it.
So wehn you raed tihs qiuclky it shluod sltil mkae snsee. :)

Caren Crane said...

I have to say, this is easier than writing. I needed a break from the pages!

Christine, I'll definitely look for all those grate tittles. Ewe can never have two many berks!

jo robertson said...

OH. MY. GOSH. I am completely fluxomed! What a brilliant group of puntifercaters and malapoopers as Christine says.

Caren, brilliant, and Meggie, naughty, naughty girl!!

This is going to be a close contest! Who knew I was unleashing such a storm of insanity?

Anna Campbell said...

Hysterical romance heroins often have berky tittles.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Anna, I do so adorn roman herons with perfunctory titles!

And with that obselique comet, I am off to lumber in the bead for a few whores!

Caren Crane said...

Foanna, how berky are your tittles? *g* Just kidding, I lurv your tittles! Clamming on the Corps Delonge is one of my favorite berks! Followed closely by Crandall's Torter. That Crispin Whales is some righter!

I do love hysterical heroins. The calm sort do nothing for me. But get a heroin all torched up and see what sort of trip she takes you on!

I hate to pique and run, but we have shifted off Daylight Savings Time and it's time for me to catch some logs. Or saw some zeds. Something like that.

Kate Carlisle said...

ROTFLMAO.

Right from the gekko, I knew y'all were a little torched in the head! But few wee! As mammaries go, this wonnul go down in the hysterical books.

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, sadly my tittles are soggy, thanks to the farce of gravy.

Keira Soleore said...

Nothing brilliant to offer, except... HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR. Jo and Mr. Jo, thanks for a fab Sunday.

doglady said...

Okay, you have to stop. I have been laughing all day! Soggy tittles, Anna C? I hate it when that happens! You are all too brilliant for me. I am a veterinarian of the edification wars having taunt in publican institootians for five years. You are all too intelligible for me.

bamabelle said...

Oh deer, I'm laughing so hard at some of these that my heartbeat is erotic!

Caren said...

Bamabelle, not the erotic heartbeat! You'll have an embolism in your carotene archery if you're not careful! We don't want blood spilled around the perimecium of the Lair, so exercise cautious!

bamabelle said...

Lol Caren! You are so write! Thank you for your concern for my heart stealth. I too, worry about improper blood cohabitation. Maybe I should see a doctor about a round of I.V. meditation to absolve the occasion.

Now it's time to help the kids with homework. Their school is such a steamed institution of knowledge that we cannot relay.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, OMG!!! You've unlunged and unhinged a gout of muddiness! I'd have to pass the sepulchre and quoin for Queen of the Pun to Mme Wells. However, it's such a clothes caw on the Malaprops. For those of you interstated in this exorcise, you should check out http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/browse-eggcorns/ they especiallize in the mist uses of wards and phlanges.
Grins