Say What?

Mrs. Malaprop is a character in a play by Richard Sheridan called The Rivals from way back in 1775. Over the course of the play, she would misspeak – replacing a word in a phrase with another word that sounds similar but just isn’t right. Thus, giving us many, many hilarious errors and coining forever the term Malapropism.

“Why, murder’s the matter! slaughter’s the matter! killing’s the matter! But he can tell you the perpendiculars.” 
– Mrs. Malaprop in Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals

Whenever things like this happen I want to behave like Bevis and mutter, “hee, she said perpendiculars”

One of the funniest I have ever heard with my own ears was from a stand up comic who was telling story in which a friend said something like, “Let me explain. OK, now, here’s a hypodermical situation.”

My favorite word is Mondegreen.  I have written about it here for you who are curious to know its origins.  The two are related in that a malapropism is something that is misspoken and a mondegreen is something misheard.  Two fabulous words that result in some very funny situations.

My M Read:  The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My M Listen:  Marc Broussard, Home – turn up the volume and take a minute and enjoy this one. I dare you not to tap something…

About the Author Corinne

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  1. Malapropisms, love ’em. A character of mine in a novel that will probably never see the light of day is a brilliant wizard who mangles normal speech. “She has aquaticmarine eyes….”

    And I loved the Mists of Avalon!

  2. Love malapropisms. I have a few family members who use them regularly and it always makes me giggle. The Rivals was a very fun play to read, and the word malapropism has stuck with me for nearly 20 years after reading it, so I am overjoyed to see a post on this. Yay! :)


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