Mondegreen

What a fabulous week it’s been for misspelt words, words missed out of sentences, wrong words put in, incorrect words used in both speech and text – gotta love the human inability to string two words together sometimes!

I’ll start with this quote that forms part of a book review: “…so no need for rubber over parts.” I suspect the correct word should be ‘pants’, but parts works for me. Sounds like it could be an interesting read. Then this, from the i newspaper and although technically not a wrong word, the small bit of copy was enough to make me chortle. The copy was entitled ‘Satanist club allowed at school’ (page 3, 30th Sept) and the last line ended ‘…said the club would provide an alternative to the school’s Bible-centered Good News Club.’ I kid you not. But I did double-check the date and it’s not April 1st. But as any high-wire walker would tell you, it’s all about balance.

Next up is a friend who has hens and a habit of texting without her glasses. This is what she meant to say to her teenage son: ‘With you soon – just putting the chicks away’, and what she actually texted, sans glasses, was this: ‘With you soon, just putting the dicks away.’ Up to  you which version you prefer.

I know an elderly gent who functions very well using his own language. Or rather, a cross between old no-longer-used West Country sayings and words, and new words created by his encroaching deafness. Only last week he was talking about his glorious crematus. Hmmm… was he planning his funeral? I wondered. It took a while until, after much frowning from both parties, he took me outside to view his glorious crematus. Or Clematis, as it turned out. And very pretty it was too.

Punctuation – and especially that pesky comma, is guilty of altering the meaning of, well, pretty much anything, as Morecambe and Wise observed in a skit about the famous 1929 song What Is This Thing Called Love. Or as they would have it: What Is This Thing Called, Love?

I only noticed my most recent missing word faux-pas when I re-read an email I had sent. What I thought I had written: ‘Sorry about that, my cock-up I think.’ And you guessed it – what I actually wrote: ‘Sorry about that, my cock I think.’

So the (correctly spelled!) word of the week has to be – Mondegreen – from Lady Mondegreen,  “A misinterpretation of the phrase ‘laid him on the green’, from the traditional ballad ‘The Bonny Earl of Murray’” (1954)

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3 thoughts on “Mondegreen

  1. The worst one I’ve seen recently was the BBC News headline which read ‘…search for schoolgirl rapists’ when it should, of course, had included an apostrophe and an ‘s’ , as in ‘schoolgirl’s rapist’. With such a serious subject, a terrible error to overlook.

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  2. …or a friend of mine, Ernie Holness, who sent out 1,000 mail-merge letters to potential customers without checking them. Thanks to Autocorrect they had gone out as Ernest Holiness. Who wouldn’t buy a car from this man?

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