Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Early Word gets the Birm




Last Wednesday we looked into the delights of malapropisms.
This week the promised spoonerisms make their appearance.

When I teach my little English class about Spoonerisms I tell them that they are named after Rev. Spooner, who elevated transposing initial sounds of neighboring words
(for example, ‘The Lord is a shoving leopard’) to an art form.

But, never content to just rest on my cursory research skills I had to dig deeper.
And I learn of the possibility that not every spoonerism attributed to Rev. Spooner was actually generated by that venerable gentleman. Some may have been made up by his students.

Who to believe? Internet research is turning me into a cynic.
But still, a spoonerism is a spoonerism and they can be a true delight.
So let’s just suspend our cynicism, enjoy some of 'Rev. Spooner’s' verbal gyrations and maybe come up with a few of our own.

-When anticipating the triumphal return of British troops after WWI he said, “When our boys come home from France we will have the hags flung out.”

-Doughty English farmers were ‘noble tons of soil”,
he admired a finely tuned bike as a ‘well-boiled icicle’
and, with impeccable manners before dropping in on a college dean inquired:
“Is the bean dizzy?”


Spoonerisms can be the sprinkles on top of the language cupcake. Entire fairy stories have been re-written using spoonerisms: ‘Bleeping Speauty’, Prinderella and the Cince’ 'The Mittle Lermaid'


I’ve accomplished some inadvertent spoonerisms in my time. Our neighbors Darryl and Heather were twisted and reformed into Harryl and Deather and I really disliked the 60’s style cag sharpet in our living room.

You, too, can become adept at spoonerisms. Just be careful or you may find yourself blushing when you refer to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as the ‘Canadian Broadcorping Castration.’

3 comments:

Sue Vick Finley said...

I didn't know the term spoonerisms! Spoonerisms are a regular part of my week though. Fery vun!

Robin J. Steinweg said...

I love this, Prude! A little corny, sometimes...
like the cob on the corn we have every August.

Everybody hap your clands for The Prude!

Lori Lipsky said...

Ach! Can't turn my "extremely educational" comment into a spoonerism. Thoo to pat!