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
‘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!