The English language may be difficult and convoluted and filled with seemingly endless contradictions and rules of grammar and enough homonyms/homophones to render spellcheck practically impotent.
But you have to love a language that gives us malapropisms and spoonerisms.
Malapropisms are named after a fictional character named Mrs. Malaprop in an 18th century play written by Richard Sheridan.
She tended to substitute one word in place of a similar sounding word:
‘He is the very pineapple of politeness.’ instead of pinnacle, or
‘She’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile’ instead of alligator.
A little friend was visiting me after the birth of my first baby. I asked her to grab me a towel from the linen closet. She came back and asked with a mix of concern and curiousity, ‘The liver closet?”
Lisa was practicing the fine art of malapropism.
Ever belt out the lyrics to a song only to discover, usually through choking laughter of a friend, that you got them wrong?
I sang along with ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ about a woman who could make a prose bush instead of a pro blush.
My version of America’s ‘Sister Golden Hair’ was about a guy who was ‘one part Cora’s pondant’ as opposed to a poor correspondent. I actually tried to look up ‘pondant’ and, on not finding it, decided I had misheard. He must actually be one part Cora’s fondant.
For years I thought my husband needed Oriental strand board for jobs instead of the oriented strand board he really used.
Yogi Berra remarked during a presidential campaign that Texas had a lot of electrical votes.
And of course, “It ain’ t the heat, it’s the humility.”
My boys had a friend who loftily told them the argument they were making was based on a ‘mute point’.
Did you know that when the carburetor is out of your soda it tastes flat?
A dearly loved family member always asked for the cheaptheats at the movie theater, assuming it was a smashed-up term for cheap theater seats.
Spoonerisms will have to wait till next week. I have to get to my book club– it’s rude not to be punctuate.