THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

…“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”…


“I have a million credits stored up in my account and it’s burning a hole in my purse. I believe that you need new swim/tennis shorts and my bikini has a strap that is about to let loose.”

“You don’t have to buy me stuff, I can get by.”

“Not with me! And I’ve always wanted to have a guy to buy things for.”

“What about Larry?” He dares to go down that road.

“Let’s not go there. I am not in a good spot on that subject.”

“As long as you deal with him straight-up, after all you did agree to marry him somewhere along the line.”

“He knows where I stand Roy. I walked out on the station, violated my contract, and told him I was leaving the country with you. I think he gets the hint. If that makes me a coldhearted bitch, then so be it.”Related image

“Hey, I’m not trying to push my luck and I certainly do not want you to change your mind. If you are a coldhearted bitch, then I guess that I have taken a liking to coldhearted bitches.”

“C-H-B is harsh, but I’m not that same cutthroat TV reporter who called NASA out of the blue. It appears that you’ve made an honest woman out of me.”

“Speaking of acronyms, c-h-b you’re not, F-blank-B stands for what?”


“Francine Nothing Bouchette… boy your parents had low expectations.”

“I didn’t get a middle name; in fact I changed my name for television. In my high school yearbook, Francesca Boucheletta was voted “Most Likely to Be Famous”, but no way that was going to happen with an Italian name like that; sounds more like a wine & appetizer.”

“An Italian with a French name?”

“How about you Roy?” He wasn’t to get off that easy.

“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”

Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen

Francine immediately does an Internet search for the name, “I do not see the family resemblance.”

“I don’t know about that, but my parents did not want me to go to medical school… and I get queasy at the sight of blood, but I do like a bloody Mary from time to time and it is noon somewhere… want to join me F blank B?”

“The best place to find out about a new town is to talk with the bartender. We need to see what’s happening around here.”



Episode 116

page 144


Contents TRT

Laborious Puns #22

Leave a comment

WIF Style-001Year 2016-001


“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Image result for teddy roosevelt bully



Labor Day is a good time to stop and reflect on the august events the the preceding month.

Image result for bad

2. Bringing a baby into the world is labor of love.

Image result for labor of love



He labored so hard that he worked his fingers to the bonus.

4. In some places there is a lot of Manuel labor for every Juan.

5. In the NFL there is some  Manuel labor.

Image result for e j manuel


6. They used to experiment on dogs called laboratory retrievers.

7. A woman union leader who was pregnant had labor pains and then a striking baby.

Image result for unions

8. At a company where they dig for gold a labor dispute is a miner problem where no one wants to get the shaft.


Laborious Puns

Image result for puns


New Year Puns (#29) and Quotes

Leave a comment

Like me

New Year Puns (#29)

and Quotes

New years resolution for the bankrupt gardener was to forget the past and rely on the fuchsia. (obscure pun!)

The satellite went into orbit on January 1st causing a new years revolution.


Drinking too much is an ale-ment

Image result for hangover




T.S. Eliot

***“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
***“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
D. Simone
***“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
Brad Paisley

New Year Puns (#29)


and Quotes

World Wide Words – Issue 916

Leave a comment

WIF Grammar 101-001

World Wide Words

Issue 916

from Michael Quinion of the U.K.


Feedback, Notes and Comments


Vacaday. In the last issue, I rejected this possible conflation of vacation and holiday as being silly. Peter Armstrong pointed out that real life disagrees: “A vacay-day is already a commonly used term among many working people here in California and I imagine elsewhere. It comes from filling out one’s online time sheet, and designating a day off as a ‘Vacation Day’.”

Manual. Comments were prompted by my thoughts about the use of manually for operating something with the foot. Michael Tremberth noted: “Organists are accustomed to the directions manualiter for passages to be performed with only the hands on the manuals, and pedaliter for passages to be executed similarly with the feet on the pedal board.”

“I recall an alternative,” Ian Williams wrote from the UK, “used when a piece of equipment that is supposed to act automatically fails to do so. In that case, the only option is to fall back on more primitive methods and perform the operation handraulically. Being a software engineer, I came across this also in the context of the failure of automatic code generation to do its job. Is it just me or has anyone else come across the concept of handraulic engineering?”

Searching throws up Handraulic as a trademark of an emergency hydraulic starting system for diesel engines, originally designed in France. The first recorded reference I can find is in the Shipbuilder and Marine Engine-builder of 1950, announcing that the UK firm Berger Fuel Injection had gained the rights and were selling it under the Handraulic name, trademarked the same year. The devices became widely popular (they’re still being made and sold by a successor business) and the name became well known. The evidence suggests that handraulic and handraulically derive as informal terms from the trademark. This is the earliest I’ve found:

An examination of the present information and the way it is obtained, handled and displayed, shows that none of it is yet in a form which enables it to be handled automatically. Information handling is, in other words, at present entirely “manumatic” or “handraulic”.

British Communications and Electronics, 1959.

Sicced. The last issue included a Sic! item from the Guardian. A more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger message came from one of the staff at the Readers’ Editor office, saying that they had corrected the story and would have done so much earlier had anybody told them about it. Subeditors: a vanished breed.

Oxford Dictionary Quizzes. Last time, I mentioned four quizzes set by the people at Oxford Dictionaries to test visitors’ knowledge of the vocabulary of four regional Englishes. I wondered how well natives would succeed with the quiz for their own language. Ada Robinson wrote: “I did all four of the Oxford Dictionary quizzes. I’m from far western Canada (Victoria, BC), and wasn’t surprised I did worst on the Australian test. However, I did better on the British and American tests than I did on the Canadian one! A number of words in the Canadian quiz were unknown to me — I suspect they are eastern Canadianisms. There’s a lot of prairie and muskeg between BC and Ontario.”


A British reader encountering this word would be likely to think of the county of Shropshire, whose name is thus historically abbreviated. Somebody who lives there is a Salopian. It might not look it but Salop and Salopian are indeed connected to Shropshire. It’s in part the result of a split a thousand years ago between the Old English and Norman-French names for the county town of Shrewsbury.

My recent reading of John Warren’s The Nature of Crops has thrown up a quite different sense of salopian, one which the Oxford English Dictionary notes only as a one-off invented word dated 1822. The link is with a foodstuff that has been spelled salup, saloop and salep as well as salop.

The main ingredient was the powdered root of orchids, boiled in water to make a thick starchy drink. In Britain the usual source was the early purple orchid, at the time so common in meadows and pastures that it was harvested in bulk. The first use of the roots was medicinal, to correct various internal problems. It was also thought to increase fertility in men and act as an aphrodisiac, because its twin tubers resembled testicles.

The orchid was once known as dogstones or dog’s cods for this reason. Salop comes from the same idea: it has been traced via Portuguese and Turkish to the Arabic khasyu ‘th-tha‘lab for an orchid, literally fox’s testicles.

Salop became fashionable in the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a restorative drink, which at a shilling an ounce was much cheaper than the imported coffee, tea and chocolate drunk by more prosperous classes. A recipe:

Take a Quart of Water, and let it boil a quarter of an Hour; then put in a quarter of an Ounce of Salop finely powdered, and let it boil half an Hour longer, stirring it all the while; then season it with White-wine and Juice of Lemons, and sweeten it to your Taste; drink it in China Cups as Chocolate; ’tis a great Sweetner of the Blood.

The Compleat Housewife: Or, Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion, by Eliza Smith, 1728. Why the author thought it necessary to boil the water for so long before adding the powdered salop is unclear, unless he was extraordinarily concerned about the bug-ridden state of English water.

The concoction (usually under the name saloop) was sold by street vendors in most English cities and also in specialist shops; it was usually flavoured with sugar and milk rather than wine and lemon. Charles Lamb wrote grandly in 1841, “Palates otherwise not uninstructed in dietetical elegancies sup it up with avidity”.

It became so popular as an early-morning pick-me-up by workmen before beginning their labours that English orchids couldn’t meet demand and supplies, thought in any case to be of superior quality, were imported from Turkey and India (countries where salop continues to be consumed under related names).

Later, salop was applied to a similar drink, made from sassafras bark imported from North America:

Passing on, in our way towards the Foundling Hospital, we perceived a groupe of wretches, male and female, round a kind of cauldron filled with an infusion of sassafras, well known by the name of saloop, which they seemed to drink with the greatest avidity.

A modern Sabbath, or, a Sunday ramble, and Sabbath-day journey, circuitous and descriptive, in and about the cities of London and Westminster, and borough of Southwark, by Anon, 1794.

Salop stayed popular until the early nineteenth century. It is sometimes said that it fell out of favour through a growing belief that it was a cure for sexual diseases and that as a result nobody wanted to be seen drinking it. In truth, it was superseded in fashion by coffee. It was drunk in its final years only by the poorest of the working classes. Among its most dogged consumers were the boys employed by sweeps to climb chimneys, who found that the hot drink helped soften the mouth cancers from which they frequently suffered.

From my reading

Read with me

  • A whiter shade of pale. When I encountered leucism in some nature notes, I naturally turned to the Oxford English Dictionary for an explanation, only to find to my mild surprise there was no entry for it. It looked like a formation from the prefix leuco-, meaning white, and a quick search using my favourite search engine found this to be so, since leucism is a zoological term for the whole or partial loss of pigmentation in an animal, leaving it white or patchy.
  • One-horned wonders. Unicorns are mythical beasts, except in Silicon Valley, where they are privately owned high-tech companies valued at a billion dollars or more. The term was coined by the American venture capitalist Aileen Lee in November 2013, after she had discovered that only 0.07% of start-up software and internet companies had grown so large, making them (almost) as rare as unicorns and members of what she called the Unicorn Club. But times change and unicorns of this specialised sort are no longer so rare (and more are in San Francisco than Silicon Valley). Bloomberg Business magazine has since invented decacorn for those valued at $10bn and the Canadian financial advisor Brent Holliday has coined narwhal (from the horned beast of northern waters, which has been called the unicorn of the sea), for Canadian companies worth more than C$1bn.
  • Language evolves, sometimes quite quickly. In early June the veteran left-wing British Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn joined the contest to become the next leader of his party. His candidature has subsequently confounded critics and attracted great public support that has moved him from outsider to odds-on favourite. Language has followed, albeit based on well-worn suffixes, with Corbynites being invented for his supporters, Corbynmania (or more informally, Corbymania) for the euphoric reception he’s been getting at packed-out meetings, Corbynomics for his economic policies and even Corbynate, to convince somebody to become a supporter. We shall know on 12 September, when the result of the election is due to be announced, whether this rush of word creation has been a predictor of success.
  • The Frozen Past. I learned from the 14 August issue of Science that climate change is leading to a new scientific sub-discipline called glacial archaeology. This is the study of ancient human evidence exposed by climate change, which is causing glaciers to retreat, exposing unique archaeological finds that have remained frozen and well preserved for thousands of years. The best known are ancient human remains, such as the Ice Man, Ötzi, found in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991 and a similarly well-preserved 500-year-old “Inca Ice Maiden” discovered in 1999 in Argentina. Evidence of human activity — mittens, shoes, weapons, walking sticks — is turning up in southern Norway from the Stone Age, 7,000 years ago. The alpine regions of southern Yukon are giving up important collections of ancient hunting implements, including a 10,000-year-old atlatl, or throwing dart. Gruesomely, and oddly inaccurately, Science attached the term glacial archaeology to the bodies of modern mountain climbers which are similarly being revealed by melting ice.
  • Hard strikes. Swatting, as slang for a criminal activity, has been in the news recently in the UK, explained as an unfamiliar term. It derives from SWAT, Special Weapons and Tactics, police units originally from the US that deal with armed incidents. A person swats by making a hoax emergency call to the police to say that armed intruders are at a property. The resulting call-out by an armed response team, often during the night, causes deliberate distress and disturbance for the intended victim and their family. The term swatting may go back a decade, but became noticeable in printed sources from about 2011 as a result of celebrities being swatted. The link between fly-swatting and victim-swatting makes the term particularly appropriate in the minds of those who perpetrate the hoax.

Hairy eyeballs

Q. From Elizabeth Ullman : In a book by Cory Doctorow, I found a reference to somebody giving the hairy eyeball to another person. This is a weird thing to do. What does it mean and where does it come from?

A. Put simply, to give somebody the hairy eyeball is to stare at them in an angry or disapproving manner. Perhaps this was the example you read:


The shanty towners were used to tourists in their midst. A few yardies gave them the hairy eyeball, but then they saw Perry was along and they found something else to pay attention to.

Makers, by Cory Doctorow, 2010.

To eyeball somebody — without mention of hair — is an older American expression meaning to stare at somebody, specifically to do so from a short distance away in an intimidating or disapproving manner. This is the earliest example so far unearthed:


He straightened up, holding in his right hand, by its long locks, a dead head depending therefrom. Taking it gingerly, the Captain set it on the table directly before Mr. Marshall East, and arranged it squarely. … “God!” burst from the lips of the man as he eyeballed his attendant.
“Oh — well — you recognise him then.”

Natchez’s Pass, by Frederic Remington, in Harper’s Magazine, Feb. 1901. The eyeballer here may be said to have been intimidated rather than intimidating.

Hairy eyeball begins to show up in print in the early 1960s, though the saying is almost certainly older. Its first appearance, in a widely syndicated press interview with the American actress and comedian Carol Burnett, is intriguing because it has a very different sense to the current one:

With her [Carol Burnett’s sister] everything is boys-boys-boys. She’s really educated me. She was telling me about a boy looking at her and she said, “He gave me the hairy eyeball.” That meant he liked her. But if she didn’t like the boy she would say, “Oh, what a twitch!”

Galveston Daily News (Texas), 7 Nov. 1961.

This might seem to have been a short-lived meaning, as two years later the New York Times Magazine stated firmly that to give the hairy eyeball “means that somebody was disapproving.” However, in 1972, Zoe Brockman wrote in the Gastonia Gazette of North Carolina that she had just discovered this new expression and found that it meant girls fluttering their eyelashes at boys. To her way of thinking, flirting “sounds a lot better than this hairy eyeball bit.” Her view was presumably shared, as this meaning died out in favour of the disapproving one.

It seems highly plausible that eyelashes are the basis of the idiom. They may have originally fluttered, but in the standard sense it instead means looking with narrowed eyes through the lashes in displeasure or dislike.


A house recently advertised for sale near the Devil’s Punchbowl in Surrey mentioned that it had once been used by broom-squires. These weren’t the minor aristocracy of rural places that the second half of their title suggests but poor rural artisans.

They were famously evoked by Sabine Baring-Gould — Anglican priest, antiquarian and novelist — in his 1896 novel The Broom-Squire, set near the house:

At some unknown date squatters settled in the Punch-Bowl, at a period when it was in as wild and solitary a region as any in England. They enclosed portions of the slopes. They built themselves hovels; they pastured their sheep, goats, cattle on the sides of the Punch-Bowl, and they added to their earnings the profits of a trade they monopolized — that of making and selling brooms. On the lower slopes of the range grew coppices of Spanish chestnut, and rods of this wood served admirably for broom-handles. The heather when long and wiry and strong, covered with its harsh leafage and myriad hard knobs, that were to burst into flower, answered for the brush. On account of this manufacture, the squatters in the Punch-Bowl went by the designation of Broom-Squires. They provided with brooms every farm and gentleman’s house, nay, every cottage for miles around. A wagon-load of these besoms was often purchased, and the supply lasted some years.

Broom-squires were necessarily restricted to the heathlands of England, such as the Surrey Heaths of the story and the New Forest further south, though at times the brush of the broom wasn’t heather but birch twigs, strictly speaking turning their makers into besom-squires, a term that appears only rarely.

Squire is not a term of respect here. Alongside its sense of a country gentleman was a contemptuous one that evolved from its oldest meaning of an attendant on a knight, hence later merely a servant, and a lowly one at that. A close relative is the long obsolete apple-squire, which may be politely defined as a male companion of a woman of ill-repute, more accurately a pimp (we may guess the apple was a sly reference to the biblical Eve, though the Oxford English Dictionary suggests a woman’s breasts were meant). Broom-squires, often itinerant and always poor, had an unsavoury reputation not so far removed from the then conventional view of gypsies.

A footnote in The Sporting Review in December 1840 to an article about hunting over yet another heath, in Somerset, described broom-squires negatively as “A variety of the genus homo found on Quantock, living on whortleberries, dwarf-birch, &c, &c. Towards winter they frequent the lower grounds, and prey on game of all sorts, preferring that of their own killing.”

Other reports mention the rude huts they inhabited. The thatched sixteenth-century former gamekeeper’s cottage mentioned in the property advert was unlikely ever to have been the home of broom-squires. However, it makes a good story for the sales brochures.



Peter Moor sent a headline from the San Diego Examiner of 10 August: “Lost dog reunited with owner after 9 yrs speaks out.”

“Winner of the 2015 Fatuous Journalism Award?” was Grant Agnew’s comment on a reporter at Channel 7 News in Brisbane, who solemnly told viewers that “infertility is not hereditary”.

A label on the frozen slush which Brandon Callison bought read, “Warning! This product is for individual consumption and should not be re-sold after consumption.”

Channel CP24 in Toronto posted this weather forecast in its online section News You Can Use on 25 August: “Environment Canada is calling for a mix of sun and cloud and a 30 per cent chance of this afternoon.”

“That must have been worth watching,” wrote Mike Hannon of a headline on the Guardian site on 19 August: Determined koala chases woman on quad bike.”

This sounds about as likely as the image conjured up by a caption to a picture of the Australian outback spotted by Ian Short in the SilkAir in-flight magazine: “Drift across scenic parkland and see kangaroos bounding through the bush in a hot air balloon.”

The website of the East London & West Essex Guardian headlined a story on 18 August: “Men caught on CCTV fly-tipping [illegally dumping] a fridge wanted by Croydon Council”. We must hope the council got its fridge back.

Chris Buza tells us that Tasmania Police posted a Twitter message on 12 August: “Police have received a report of a white ute [utility vehicle] carrying a ladder that may have been used to impersonate police in the Hobart area.”

Spotted by Philip Stevens in the small ads in the Saffron Walden local newspaper in Essex: “Dark Maroon high quality leather suite, 9 years old. Senior lady owner, well cared for.” Nice about the lady, but what about the suite?

World Wide Words



– Issue 916


Leave a comment

Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 187

…A fly on the wall…



Here is a random (edited) sample of luxury suite comments:

fly on the wall

“Let’s slide the window open, I don’t feel like part of the crowd,” Constance complains.

“My husband is allergic to seafood,” Edie D. knows her husband like a bee knows its hive.

“Have you tried the shrimp cocktail?” Newly released Eddie D. asks. “This sure beats hospital food.”

“I am impressed with Willard Libby. I learned things that I hadn’t considered before,” Worth Moore’s first taste of carbon— carbon dating that is, is enlightening.

“I’ll have you know that my sister’s boy never scored less than an A in school,” Tolentine devotee Mary Joseph is beaming with family pride, in light of her nephew’s starring role.

“I wonder if Willard is going to mention my name during his presentation.” Every scientist expects credit for his work. Martin Kamen is no different.

“I have agents stationed at every gate.” Agent Daniels has his attention focused on his walkie-talkie, not allowing his search engine to idle. Such is the scope of his personal investment in the Libby Affair and Forever Mastadon long before that.

“I was part of the original search squadron retracing Amelia Earhart’s flight plan. I was positive that we would have found by now.” Ace doesn’t brag, he merely inserts himself into aviation history now and then.

“This is what sheer terror looks like live!” Sam Goldwyn’s projector screen replays The Blue Ridge Angel belly flopping at Midway Airport.

“My shoulder is killing me,” Fanny tries to adjust her sling, the inconvenient result of her own heroic accident.

“We’re all sinners, each and every one of us!” Billy Graham broadcasts through the loudspeakers.


Oscar Wilde


Episode 187


page 148

Episode catalog-001


Characters CC-FM-001


You are here

Contents CC-FM 6-15

Freudian Slips – “I didn’t mean what I meant to say.”

Leave a comment

40 Clips from 1/17/2014

Freudian Slips

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary. — Richard Harkness, The New York Times, 1960

Slogan of 105.9, the classic rock radio station in Chicago: “Of all the radio stations in Chicago … we’re one of them.”

With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster 13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress. — Ransom K. Ferm

Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

The graduate with a Science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world. — Dave Barry

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants. — A. Whitney Brown

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. — William James

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. — Mark Twain

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base. — Dave Barry

When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.

668: The Neighbor of the Beast 

Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps. — Emo Phillips

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. — F. P. Jones

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?” — Quentin Crisp

Boundary, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another. — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not! But I’m sick and tired of being told that I am! — Monty Python

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. — George Carlin

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. — John F. Kennedy

Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove. — Ashleigh Brilliant

My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right. — Ashleigh Brilliant

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

Always try to do things in chronological order; it’s less confusing that way.

Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, “I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease”. Disraeli replied, “That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.”

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off. — Johnny Carson

A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit. — In the August 1993 issue, page 9, of PS magazine, the Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance

On one occasion a student burst into his office. “Professor Stigler, I don’t believe I deserve this F you’ve given me.” To which Stigler replied, “I agree, but unfortunately it is the lowest grade the University will allow me to award.”

Don’t worry about temptation–as you grow older, it starts avoiding you. — Old Farmer’s Almanac

G: “If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?” EB: “Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area.” — Somewhere in No Man’s Land, BA4

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. — Plutarch

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad. — Salvador Dali

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. — Hunter S. Thompson

Sacred cows make the best hamburger. — Mark Twain

“Time’s fun when you’re having flies.” — Kermit the Frog

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?” Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.” — Charlie Brown, _Peanuts_ [Charles Schulz]

Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Hobbes: Isn’t the zipper on your pants supposed to be in the front?

“I didn’t mean what I meant to say.” — Gwenny

Freudian Slips


Malaprops 101 – from Writing is Redunda-mental

Leave a comment

WIF Grammar 101-001

Malaprops 101 –

from Writing is Redunda-mental

& Wikipedia

A malapropism (also called a Dogberryism or Cramtonism) is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound (which is often a paronym), resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance

An instance of speech error is called a malapropism when a word which is nonsensical or ludicrous in context, but similar in sound to what was intended, is produced.


The word “malapropism” (and its earlier variant, “malaprop”) comes from a character named “Mrs. Malaprop” in Richard Brinsley Sheridan‘s 1775 play The Rivals Mrs. Malaprop frequently misspeaks (to great comic effect) by using words which don’t have the meaning she intends, but which sound similar to words that do. Sheridan presumably chose her name in humorous reference to the word malapropos, an adjective or adverb meaning “inappropriate” or “inappropriately”, derived from the French phrase, mal à propos (literally “poorly placed”). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of “malapropos” in English is from 1630, and the first person known to have used the word “malaprop” in the sense of “a speech error” is Lord Byron in 1814.

The synonymous term “Dogberryism” comes from the 1598 Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing, in which the character Dogberry utters many malapropisms to humorous effect.

Malapropisms do not occur only as comedic literary devices. They also occur as a kind of speech error in ordinary speech. Examples are often quoted in the media.

The song titles, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Tomorrow Never Knows“, by The Beatles, both originated as “Ringoisms” — confused speech uttered by Ringo Starr. John Lennon and Paul McCartney called the two phrases “malapropisms”

It was reported in New Scientist that an office worker had described a colleague as “a vast suppository of information” (i.e., repository or depository)


Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley referred to a tandem bicycle as a “tantrum bicycle” and made mention of “Alcoholics Unanimous” (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Modern writers make use of malapropisms in novels, cartoons, films, television, and other media.


Archie Bunker, a character in the American TV sitcom All in the Family is also known for malapropisms. He callsOrthodox Jews “off-the-docks Jews” and refers to “the Women’s Lubrication Movement” (rather than Liberation)

InMuch Ado About Nothing, Constable Dogberry tells Governor Leonato, “Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended twoauspicious persons” (i.e., apprehended two suspicious persons)

in The Merchant of Venice, Launcelot, describing Shylock, declares, “Certainly he is the very devil incarnal…” (i.e., incarnate)

Malapropism was one of Stan Laurel’s comic mannerisms. In Sons Of The Desert, for example, he says that Oliver Hardy is suffering a nervous “shakedown” (rather than “breakdown”), and calls the Exalted Ruler of their group the “exhausted ruler”



Malaprops 101

– from Writing is Redunda-mental (& Wikipedia)

See Freudian Slips from January 17 2014

WIF Prime