Malapropriate: The Delicate Dilemma of Correction

In Sheridan’s 18th Century play, The Rivals, a character named Mrs. Malaprop constantly used similar-sounding  but incorrect words, often with humorous results: “I must crash a check”; “It’s my term to make them play,” and that sort of thing. Words misused in this way have become known as malapropisms after this hilarious character.

Eggcorn? Well it sounded like that…

Malapropisms, along with other kinds of misuses of words, like the recently-named eggcorns, mondegreens (mis-heard lyrics), mixed metaphors and the like are found everywhere–especially in the verbiage of politicians, celebrities, and the sports world. I don’t think this is because they’re more prone to it; they’re just more likely to have their utterances taped and re-broadcast for the world to see than are you or me. And, they’re often put on the spot and asked to respond to questions suddenly, or make their living talking a lot in public places. Continue reading

Taking Holiday Inventory

So this is Christmas, one of my favorite holiday songs goes, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun…It’s time to take inventory. But often we rush through the holidays, all action and no reflection.

The fall leading up to Christmas is the heaviest activity in the year for publishers and book printers; the rush to get what will hopefully be the gift book of the season out by early October is its own kind of tension.  Having just completed one of those with an author and his book, I’m now taking a few deep breaths. Amid all the visitors, gifts, food and family, I’m feeling the need to make a little quiet space for my inventory.

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