Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened...

I love malapropisms! I find them most entertaining, probably because I'm secretly feeling superior to the user...A malapropism (from French mal à propos, "ill to purpose") is an incorrect usage of a word, usually with comic effect. The term malapropism comes from the name of Mrs Malaprop, a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy, The Rivals, whose name was in turn derived from the existing English word malapropos, meaning 'inappropriately'. In fact there is even a website where some individual has collected them.

I am such a nerd in this area that I have even created my own malaproprism for "malapropism" - "malappropriatism" - these are the best kind of malapropisms: where the meaning is almost right. A great example occurred in a High Court judge's decision I once reviewed when I was working for the High Court. The judgment said: ..."went off like a damp squid". Now the correct saying should have been "damp squib" but I was forced to concede that nothing goes off like a damp squid...if you're not laughing by now this just proves that I am a nerd to like this stuff!

Anyway, last night my brother in law commented, as he is prone to do, on my mother lamenting the lack of eligible men at this wedding she attended. This is in itself a disturbing enough topic! But then he gave his sage advice: "Perhaps you're not showing enough cleaverage" It took everything I had not to laugh uproariously, not helped by the fact that I then quipped to my mother: "maybe it is a cleaverage problem." Of course its the problem, I thought. Any woman showing too much cleaver is likely to scare away even the most enamoured suitor!

I'm still laughing! There was another interesting story concerning apparent Catholic hyprocrisy which I might blog on later...


Anonymous said...

I know I get Chris' attention when he sees my cleaver! :)

Another Nerd said...

I find that most women, in this day and age, are not showing enough cleaver!

I think we can date the start of this decline to the advent of free steak-knife giveaways in early television infomercials. These "informative commercials" removed the felt need of the televised masses to go and appropriate their own kitchen cutting utensils therefore nullifying the ever seductive lure of the cleaver on personal missions of said utensil procurement.

That's all I have to say about that,