02 December 2009
Funny Malapropisms - Cheeky Quote Day! 2 Dec 2009
*** Those funny slips of the tongue that come out weird and ridiculous!
From Denny: OK, we have all done it at one time or another. The key to good communication and understanding with others is to, well, avoid those slips of the tongue – or brain – whichever the case may be and speak something that comes out as absolutely weird and ridiculous nonsense.
What’s a malapropism? It’s one of those Freudian nuisances that have long plagued humanity – and politicians. We will get to that in a moment. A malapropism is really the unintentional use of a wrong word or strings of words into a phrase (compounding the problem) that causes confusion with the listeners as to what you truly meant to utter.
OK, so it’s unintentional and a humorous misuse or distortion of the word or phrase. A malapropism is especially effective because though it sounds a lot like the intended word so that it ends up ludicrously wrong in the context! What’s worse is if you make a habit of talking like this.
It often happens to those former CEOs turned politicians who fried their brains on cocaine, meth or soaked it in too much alcohol like former President George W. Bush and his fellow alcoholic druggie VP Dick Cheney. With all the conflicting drugs Cheney takes - that overwhelms his liver - it's no surprise as to why he's so mean-spirited toward others. Too many drugs can make you cranky and negative like the Darth Vadar character to which he is compared every Halloween. It was frightening to realize these two guys who couldn't think straight, for a variety of reasons, had their fingers on nuclear weapons. It's also comforting to know they are out of office.
Often words that sound similar are substituted for the correct word choice and then you are off and running into the arena of the ridiculous. Comedy writers have leaned heavily on this speech/brain mistake for laughs, especially in TV writing. It takes a lot of writing talent to use the technique properly but we won’t get into that today. Today we are showing funny quotes and funny video.
During the Bush years, when an international audience had to endure some really awful speeches and choppy weird informal talks from Bush, his spin team tried to convince people this was some kind of genetic condition. They also tried to convince us he fell off his bike to explain his facial lacerations. And who could forget the pretzel choking incident? The more they said the worse the perception became. It probably won’t be long, in this down economy when people are desperate for jobs and to avoid home foreclosure, before we start getting books from “insiders” who start ratting out what was really happening behind the scenes.
...Which leads us into the popular culture’s term for malapropisms: Bushisms! Here are a few of the all time favorites uttered by our former President:
Oftentimes, we live in a processed world, you know, people focus on the process and not results.
The law I sign today directs new funds... to the task of collecting vital intelligence... on weapons of mass production.
We are making steadfast progress.
Natural gas is hemispheric... because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.
I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.
We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.
It will take time to restore chaos and order.
They have miscalculated me as a leader.
Some typographer having fun: I Shot the Serif ---- sheriff
A quick bit of history trivia for you on the origin of the word malapropism… OK, all you show-offs quit waving your hands because you already know the answer. Malapropism came into our language a few centuries ago from the pen of writer Richard Sheridan. His character, Mrs. Malaprop, was known for these speech antics in his 1775 play named The Rivals.
Here are some of her fun malapropisms and the correct word follows. If want to study how to write malapropisms this is a great example of how to write them:
"...promise to forget this fellow - to illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory." -------------- obliterate
"O, he will dissolve my mystery!" ------- resolve
"He is the very pine-apple of politeness!" ------- pinnacle
"I have since laid Sir Anthony's preposition before her;" ------- proposition
"Oh! it gives me the hydrostatics to such a degree." -------- hysterics
"I hope you will represent her to the captain as an object not altogether illegible." ------- eligible
"...she might reprehend the true meaning of what she is saying." ------- comprehend
"...she's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of Nile." ------- alligator
"I am sorry to say, Sir Anthony, that my affluence over my niece is very small." ------- influence
"Why, murder's the matter! slaughter's the matter! killing's the matter! - but he can tell you the perpendiculars." ------- particulars
"Nay, no delusions to the past - Lydia is convinced;" ------- allusions
"...behold, this very day, I have interceded another letter from the fellow;" ------- intercepted
"I thought she had persisted from corresponding with him;" ------- desisted
"His physiognomy so grammatical!" ------- phraseology
"I am sure I have done everything in my power since I exploded the affair;" ------- exposed
"I am sorry to say, she seems resolved to decline every particle that I enjoin her." ------- article
"...if ever you betray what you are entrusted with... you forfeit my malevolence for ever..." ------- benevolence
"Your being Sir Anthony's son, captain, would itself be a sufficient accommodation;" ------- recommendation
"Sure, if I reprehend any thing in this world it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!" -------- reprehend/apprehend, oracular/vernacular, derangement/arrangement, epitaphs/epithets
President Bush is not alone as he has plenty of company. Other famous people like Yogi Berra and Murray Walker also committed speech heresy. In Britain, their term for a malapropism is a Colemanball. It’s derived from BBC sports commentator David Coleman who is also prone to speech slips so the Private Eye Magazine coined the term that seems to have stuck.
Here are some more funny malapropisms and the correct word follows (English is often a confusing language even for native speakers):
He had to use a fire distinguisher. ------ extinguisher
Dad says the monster is just a pigment of my imagination. ------- figment
Isn't that an expensive pendulum round that man's neck? -------- pendant
Good punctuation means not to be late. -------- punctuality
He's a wolf in cheap clothing. ------ sheep
Michelangelo painted the Sixteenth Chapel. -------- Cistine
My sister has extra-century perception. ------- extrasensory
"Don't" is a contraption. ------- contraction
In case you want to write malapropism dialogue just take a look at real life and former President George Bush in action at his Malapropism Best:
In case the video does not display here's the link where you can get a larger versus smaller player, go here.
*** Fun and intriguing informative science articles written in my usual cheeky voice:
Check Out Cosmic Generator Producing Energy at Rate of 100K Suns
Slamming Low-Ride Satellite Maps Earths Magnetic Field
*** Thanks for visiting! And if you are a blogger make sure to copy these fun free Christmas clip arts to use on your blog!
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