Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Owha Tanas Siam!

And I’ll tell you why. Yesterday I sent an e-mail to check on terms and conditions for a competition I was considering. Would this condition ‘render my story illegible?’ I asked. It was only later – after I had sent it and was reading it to one of my sons, that he pointed out my malapropism.

We did ‘The Rivals’ at school and although Mrs Malaprop was always a popular character I had no wish to emulate her. The irony is the competition was a writing one.

The word comes from the French ‘mal a propas’ (one of these days I’ll manage to type accents) which means ill- suited.

Two of my favourite malapropisms are being told, when dithering over a frozen food cabinet: ‘Take your time Mrs M – it’s immature to me. And:

‘When Gordon gets behind the wheel he’s a bit erotic.’

Here are some I picked up from ‘Quotable Quotes:

‘He’s going up and down like a metronome’ Ron Pickering

‘I might just fall in to Bolivia – you know what I mean?’ Mike Tyson

‘We can’t let terrorists and trouble makers hold the nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.’ George Bush

‘We heard the sea is infatuated with sharks’ Stan Laurel

And some anonymous ones:

Good punctuation means not to be late.

He’s a wolf in cheap clothing

It’s the people I tell things to that can’t keep a secret – not me.

Michael Angelo painted the sixteenth chapel

Say no to negativity.

Patience is a virgin.

It’s beyond my apprehension.

Have you any favourites or better still have you been an ass like me?

The title BTW, for those of you who didn’t go to school before 1960, translates as:

‘Oh what an ass I am!


Jimmy Bastard said...

"I do not recognise the severance of this hung court, do they not realise who I am?"

Saddam Hussain - after his first appearance in court after his capture.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL....Funny Pat! My mother made two that were both amusing to all of us--her children. Do you remember the Actress, Dame Mae Whiity? My mother once said, "Bame Mae Whitney"...The other was funnier....Instead of saying "President Eisenhower", in referring to our then Presidemt Dwight D. Eisenhower, she said, "Presidemy Eisenberg"...That was pretty Hilarious back then for many reasons....!LOL!

BTW: Post 3 of The French Trip is up!

Scarlet-Blue said...

I'm trying to think of one so that I can join in and jump on the gravy boat.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat, you are the adored! I was wondering what on earth the conditions could be to render your story illegible!!!! And, the penny didn't drop until the very end of the post by which time I was apoplectic with laughter.

I need some help though, I have no idea what Mike Tyson was trying to say.

My mother-in-law once went into a shop and asked for a double bidet (she meant duvet) cover and was quite outraged when the assistant said, 'we don't sell anything like that here, madame.'

I love 'Say no to negativity' And I have, myself, come across many a 'wolf in cheap clothing'.

Kim Ayres said...

I love He’s a wolf in cheap clothing. I mighht just adopt that as a personal description :)

PI said...

Jimmy: good one;)

Naomi: one's family's bloomers are doubly endearing. I'll be over ere long:)

Scarlet: that'll do nicely missus.

Eryl: it does sound feasible doesn't it?
Mike Tyson - I think - meant falling into oblivion. Nice one from your MIL and as for 'wolf in cheap clothing' see below:)

Kim: are you forgetting the silk ties?

Queenie said...

When I was a teenager, we had a neighbour who used to have my mother close to convulsions from the effort of trying to keep a straight face while she was being advised to shop at the Co-op because it was so ecumenical.

Z said...

My son thought for years, I discovered, that the expression was 'no holes barred'. And Kenny, our former gardener, now nearing his 90th birthday, is fond of the term 'raise a human cry'.

kenju said...

Very funny! A former basketball player from NC State University told a reporter, while referring to his ability to use either hand, that he was "amphibious".

Everyone cracked up!!

PI said...

Queenie: perhaps she had a religious bent.

Z: I get the first but not the second but it is quite late.
Oh - hue and cry:)

Judy: that's sweet - and funny.

AndrewM said...

And then there was my very young (at the time) daughter who asked 'When are we going to your head, Daddy?'

It took me a while to work out that she meant Minehead!

Guyana-Gyal said...

My grandma said things like 'the confusion I came to...' I've stolen it and used it often.

Sancho Panza in Don Quixote came up with some hilarious ones.

Maybe the judges will think your malaprop was intentional...they seem to make sense, do you notice?

Mondigreens are funny too, the way we change the words of songs. 'Excuse me why I kiss this guy' is one of my faves.

PI said...

AndrewM: I wish I had written down some of her brother's sayings - he was a constant source of laughs. Another grand -daughter was convinced her other Gran had gone to Devon when she died. That's where I'm going.

GG: I have to think before I get some of them.
Fortunately the malaprop was just in a query e- mail and a nice girl phoned me about it yesterday and said she knew exactly what I meant and said I was eligible for the competition. Sod's law after nothing happening for months I've just got a request for three chapters.
What is the real title of the song?

R. Sherman said...

During my father's last hospital stay, he was kept in what amounts to an induced coma, i.e. "sedated." After his death, someone at the funeral asked my mom whether he'd been in any pain. My said, "No. They were keeping him seduced." My brother and I just looked at her with slight grins on our faces. Then she realized her mistake. Thus, the funeral visitors were greeted by the three of us alternating between giggle fits and tears.


Mrs Pouncer said...

Two that I heard with my own ears on the television were:

"And it's Harry Commentator in the carpentry box"

and the timeless Amy Turtle in Crossroads (when it was live; kindly provide your own Birmingham accent) "Yes, well, you'd better look socks and pull your sharps up".

When my first baby was born, Babygro suits were a novelty. My aunt called them Growbags.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Our council's late switchboard supervisor, a camp old queen of the old school, once told a couple of policemen who'd caught him cottaging that he wasn't going to take any notice of them and he wanted to see the supernintendo.

He told us this story while we were in a meeting and no more work was done that morning.

PI said...

Randall: that must have really released the tension of a very sad time. I think a sort of hysterical laughter is never far away at funerals.

Mrs P: your aunt's is my favourite:)

Kevin: That's priceless:)

Nea said...

My father still teases me for having described my over-sized maternal grandfather as "porculent" many years ago.

I meant, of course, "corpulent"