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#959106 - Thu Jan 03 2013 05:01 PM Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny
bloomsby Offline
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As a quiz editor (and more generally) I encounter quite a number of malapropisms. One of those that I find particularly irritating is the use of apropos instead of appropriate, as in "In the circumstances that wasn't a very apropos remark".


Why does it irritate me? I suppose it creates the impression that the writer or speaker thinks he or she is being very educated in using a spot of French and just oh-so-classy, when this is not the case.

As for funny malapropisms, I remember being sharply reprimanded after a lesson at school at about age 10 for hooting with laughter when another pupil said "cerstificate" for "certificate". (The teacher pointed out that it had made it impossible to correct the mistake, at least on that occasion). Perhaps one shouldn't laugh, but some malapropisms are just so funny. For me, nothing quite compares with augurs well for all goes well. "I hope augurs well". Wow!

Here is a quite useful list of common errors:

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

Edited to add: In Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain there's the hilarious case of the new patient at the sanatorium who refers to Beethoven's Third Symphony as the Erotica instead of the Eroica. The others smirk but are too embarrassed to explain the mistake to her.


Edited by bloomsby (Thu Jan 03 2013 06:11 PM)

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#959131 - Thu Jan 03 2013 07:55 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Jabberwok Offline
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Loc: Sussex England UK             
My son has issues learning new words, it takes about three concentrated weeks to embed new words into his vocabulary. So quite often he will go for one that begins with the same letter, sometimes it rhymes, and we work out what he means.

I must add that he has an excellent vocabulary, but slowly acquired with a lot of support and a lot of hysterical laughter along the way.
Several years ago, he wanted the axle of a weasel for a Christmas present.

Worked it out after a few clues.

http://nyorastudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/easel-1.jpg



Edited by Jabberwok (Thu Jan 03 2013 08:27 PM)
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#959296 - Fri Jan 04 2013 05:45 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
agony Offline

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That "Erotica" mistake is one I made myself, but thankfully only *to* myself. For several years I just thought, privately "What an odd name, really, for a symphony. I guess those days weren't really as stiff and formal as we've been led to think..."

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#959321 - Fri Jan 04 2013 08:58 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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It must have struck you as a very odd name or nickname indeed for a Beethoven symphony. wink

There are some pieces of music (and I'm not thinking now of modern pop songs) that can be interpreted as 'Eros in Music', but that isn't one of them.

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#959460 - Sat Jan 05 2013 06:39 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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Here's a link to a site with an intriguing and useful list of malapropisms and common sources of confusion:

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

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#959467 - Sat Jan 05 2013 08:13 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
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That link is interesting. I've already found one phrase that I apparently use incorrectly as per UK English anyway. blush
That site doesn't list "caricature" which I hear as "characterture" so often. I was at a talk given by a company rep. It went for an hour but all I can remember of it is her saying "To take a different tact", not once, but at least three times. She capped it off by making "quotient" rhyme with "latent" more than once. Every time she said "patient quotent" it was all I could do to sit quietly and not say anything.. she was a guest in our workplace so it didn't seem apropos wink
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#959469 - Sat Jan 05 2013 08:19 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: Tizzabelle]
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
She capped it off by making "quotient" rhyme with "latent" ...



Whatever next? Perhaps we'll get the latent quotient in the lotion(t)

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#959470 - Sat Jan 05 2013 08:28 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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Well, it could of been worse wink That one makes my blood boil when it's said by people who I would have thought knew better! I'm especially fond of it when the "of" is emphasised to make a point.. frown
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#959471 - Sat Jan 05 2013 09:07 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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Nowadays even schoolteachers, so I am told, sometimes write things like
You coulda done better on kids' work.

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#959489 - Sun Jan 06 2013 05:50 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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I know this isn't really on topic, but don't you HATE "very unique"?
On Malapropisms, I heard my daughter call down the stairs:"Mum is dinner ready, I am ravished"
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#959490 - Sun Jan 06 2013 07:15 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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Lol Ren. smile That reminds me of my niece when she was about 11. She was talking of a certain hamburger restaurant whose hamburger buns had so much sugar in them, they were listed at "confetti" by health authorities. I'd like to see hamburger buns thrown at a happy couple after a wedding. wink
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#959500 - Sun Jan 06 2013 09:29 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
rossian Online   content
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Oh, Ren. I'm so with you on unique. I've been known to shout at the television when unique is qualified in any way by people who I expect to know better.

Not quite on topic, but my son was confused by 'backscratcher' when he was small, so they've been 'scratchbackers' in our family ever since.
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#959542 - Sun Jan 06 2013 03:25 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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In the same vein, we go to the "Par Cark", and put on "Lickslick"
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#959545 - Sun Jan 06 2013 03:28 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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I'm with Ren and Rossian on unique. The word has been stripped of its meaning and is now treated as synonymous with unusual. To express the older meaning of unique one now has to use one of a kind, 'one off' or something along those lines.

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#959554 - Sun Jan 06 2013 06:05 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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Agree on unique, though I've given up on worrying about that. I roll my eyes and try to forget about it. Has anyone else noticed the reasonably new (to my ears) habit people have of pronouncing "per" words as "pre"? I keep hearing "precentage" "preformance" and other similar words that make my nerves screech! laugh
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#959582 - Sun Jan 06 2013 09:27 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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I noticed pre- for per- when editing quizzes, but it's often hard to tell whether it's a typo or reflects the speaker's pronunciation.

Of course, language changes, but I'm surprised that there seems to have been little comment on the now semi-standard(?) use of convince for persaude; and no self-respecting spokesman or spokewoman rejects an allegation but they claim to refute it. As a result, the word rebut is now generally used for refute in its older sense.

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#959621 - Mon Jan 07 2013 10:01 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
agony Offline

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"Could of" doesn't bother me, in speech, because I assume it's really "could've".

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#959624 - Mon Jan 07 2013 10:12 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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Ah, but agony, when people emphasise the 'of' to make a point it's irritating. A friend of mine who went to a very expensive and allegedly good school has said more than once "Well, I could of.." clearly making a distinction between the two words. He's a lovely bloke and a good mate so I let him get away with it wink

I wish I could find the story online somewhere but I failed. I saw on one of those bloopers type shows a story about a news reader. He got a bit flustered about a story of a man with a snake or spider bite. Instead of reading out "...and he was bitten on his thigh" the newsreader said "...and he was bitten on his thing" which made it much funnier than the story originally was wink
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#959666 - Mon Jan 07 2013 04:09 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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Some websites offer amazing examples of strange usage and malapropisms. Not long ago I was reading an online article which said: It was the 1910s and the Great War was waging in Europe. I wondered whether it was a typo, a malapropism or whether it had been typed by someone who pronounces /r/ as /w/ (as in Wun, wabbit, wun, wabbit, wun, wun, wun).

I changed the first letter of waging to r. To my astonishment within half an hour I received a message informing me that wage is used with war and urging me to consult a dictionary. The message even contained a link to a dictionary. I tried to explain and said that one needs to pay attention to 'those funny little letters like tr. found immediately after some words', but it all fell on deaf ears.

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#959747 - Mon Jan 07 2013 08:58 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
agony Offline

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I'm just giggling at the thought of Peter Cook as The Impressive Clergyman from "The Princess Bride" reading out that article.

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#959881 - Tue Jan 08 2013 03:09 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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#959897 - Tue Jan 08 2013 05:30 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
flopsymopsy Offline
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The Great War was waging... that must mean that everyone got paid. wink
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#960238 - Thu Jan 10 2013 06:10 AM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Tizzabelle Offline
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I was talking to a friend of mine tonight about this thread. He confessed that in his younger days he thought malaprops were called malappropriatisms! laugh
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#963812 - Sun Jan 27 2013 05:28 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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Oops! I didn't quite say what I mean ...

Quote:
convince for persaude


What I had in mind wasn't the actual meaning of convince and persuade but the associated grammatical constructions. I am used to persuade as a transitive verb. Of course, convince is also transitive (as in He/she failed to convince us and of course there is also to convince someone/something of something.

Obviously, in I'm not convinced and I'm not persuaded there is grammatical as well as semantic overlap.

However, for years I've been reading things like Jane convinced (for persuaded) him to try again which always strikes me as bizarre, but this usage is very common in the media and not least on the BBC website.

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#990977 - Mon Jun 24 2013 12:41 PM Re: Malapropisms that I find Irritating or Funny [Re: bloomsby]
Jakeroo Offline
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Just the other day, a work colleague of mine was telling a story about how she and a friend had been in a car and got hopelessly lost, ending up in a "forbidden to park here" zone.

She said there was a sign that read "Trespassers would be persecuted".

I said "Oh my, where you parked in front of a church or a crematorium?"

She stopped talking for a few seconds and then she said "no, I meant Trespassers will be violated".

If anyone wants to know what I replied then, they can PM me, not sure it is entirely appropriate for family viewing lol
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