Thursday, September 25, 2008

Malapropisms

Usually, malapropisms are heard, smirked at, and forgotten; but, occasionally the abject adjectives and verb abuse are so memorable, that they need to be shared.

mal·a·prop·ism
  1. Ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound.
Before I do so, everyone should know that I am no stranger to using the occasional malapropism myself. I thought Vintage Oak was Vinta Joke and thought I could "see my life flash before your eyes." We have all had our moments, which is probably why we all love to hear the blurting blunders of others.

Many of you will recall the story of when I was at the hospital visiting grandpa a few years back when he thought he was on his death bed. "Gather the family 'round," he said, "The doctor told me I'm going to die." We didn't think he was going to die. Aunt Andrea was sent as the family emissary to verify the validity of the verdict. I was fortunate enough to hear the nurse come into the room and tell grandpa that he seemed to have misconscrewed what the doctor had told him. "The last thing we want to do is misconscrew the information," she said in a loud, deliberate voice. After hearing the flagrant slaughtering of misconstrue five or six times by the naïve nurse, I was on the hunt for hearing more malapropisms. I had a fever, and the only prescription was more malapropisms.

That craving was curbed in part just last week when Dad went to pick up restaurant gift certificates from a client. The lady giving him the certificates made sure to let him know that the gift certificates were in 50-dollar excrements. I told Dad he should've told her that he would make a log of the transaction.

Then there was today, when my teacher was explaining an activity we'd be playing and she told us that for the simulation we should assume the manufacturer can produce an unlimited, or infinitesimal amount of the product. Infinite would've worked just fine. Maybe she just meant to say an infinite decimal amount of the product, in which case she's right. She said it four times, so that that must've been what she meant.

Oh well, no going back now I guess. The jamma jin jen.

12 comments:

Michemily said...

Okay, this is more of a misspelling, I think, but it was funny enough to go down in history. Jack Ashton's program for his AP Theory Recital said "Spring Rectal" instead of "Spring Recital." Ouch. Literally. :)

johnnyboy said...

Ah, good times to the maximus. We have a lady at my work that regularly discusses our full "breath" of services. At a recent client meeting, one of the real estate agents came in and declared, "Sorry I'm late, I just had a deal implode" My co-worker looked at her and said, "Is that bad?" Oh dear.

Carrie said...

Who said jemma jin jen? She must be totally old and like a mom or something trying to be cool singing JT lyrics...right?

I am never gonna live that down am I? At least it was one of the funnier moments of my life--I LOVE laughing that hard!

Bobby said...

Yeah, you never want to keep your "i" out for recitals. Reminds me of when my Uncle Winston faxed out a bunch of resumes and had his resume faxed back to him by one of the companies with a typo circled on it. He wanted to mention that he was an expert in public relations, but forgot the "l" in public. Made it through the spellchecker just fine.

Bobby said...

Oh, and Johnny, I had a guy at church that would always mention service projects in Elder's quorum. He'd always remind us that "many hands make a light to work." If only Edison knew.

After hearing about the lady at your work it makes me think that maybe Sherm should run commercials for his practice and change the lyrics of the Top Gun song to "Take my Breadth Away." It would make a good catchy parody, as long as the group singing it called themselves the LapBand.

Lizzie Jones said...

Jessi Miller (from the ward- lived in log down) and I were driving in the car one day listening to the beloved song ""All My Life" by KC and Jo JO (doesn't get much better!) and Jessi found out that all HER life she's been singing the song terribly wrong. As I sung the words "Close to me, you're like my mother, close to me you're like my father. Closetome you're like my sister, close to me you're like my brother," I realized that Jessi wasn't singing the same thing. Her version?
"Roasting me you're like my mother, roasting me, you're like my father..."

After I laughed for a good long while, I began to question the quality of Jessi's childhood...

Bobby said...

I used to sing the wrong words to Peter Brienholt's "You Wear Flowers." When he sings, "That's when it occurred to me I like spontaneity," I thought he was saying, "That's when it occurred to me I like lots of nicotine." Thought maybe he was talking about some PTs (past transgressions). It made me feel better when my last companion on he mission confided with me that he, too, thought the lyrics were "I like lots of nicotine."

Lizzie Jones said...

Another one. I just read a friend's blog. She is an English major at BYU. She claimed to have seen two puppies today that she described as "rampunctions". Surely she could not have meant "rambunctious"... that'd just be silly. Who has ever heard of energetic and excitable puppies, pray tell?! No, no. She must have meant rambunctions, which as we all know is a cross between ramparts and junctions, meaning therefore that the puppies she saw resembled large intersecting mounds of earth. How sweet.

Melissa said...

this post was referenced to me, and i couldnt help but add this comment: while going through a bunch of resumes people had submitted to my work, i noticed that one of the guys had referenced one of his previous work occupations as a "night stalker" at a grocery store.

we hired him on spot.

-friend of lizzie

Ruth Ann said...

i don't know how this blog got off topic of malapropism to singing the wrong words to songs....but while we're at it...

I thought Pat Benatar's song, "Love is a Battlefield" was really "Love is a fallacy." I think I had just learned the meaning of that word, so I felt pretty cool singing it at the top of my lungs. Listening to that song now I am ashamed to hear that the word "battlefield" is sung quite clearly. how did I ever mistake it for "fallacy?" It would be like someone thinking a "where've you been" is an idiom for "where have you been". silly.

-maresidoates

tommy said...

A guy that I work with always tells me how "flustated" he gets. A proper mix of being flustered and really frustrated. At first I thought he was mixing it up intentionally, but really it is a shameless disregard for proper grammar.

Bobby said...

Haha, I lolled on that one, Tommy. I was talking with Emily Meier and she told me that her cousin worked at Meier's Chicken and at work they had to go through a process where they consolidate the chicken; but, her cousin could never remember the word consolidate so she would just say other words, like, "Hey, should we consume the chicken?" Her brother would just look at her and say, "Well, we should probably save some for the customers." The best one though was when she said, "Should we consult the chicken?"