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Feb 19, 2013
This week's theme
Words for linguistic errors

This week's words
spoonerism
malapropism
Freudian slip
eggcorn
mondegreen

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

malapropism

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAL-uh-prop-iz-ehm)

MEANING:
noun: The humorous misuse of a word by confusing it with a similar-sounding word.
For example, "pineapple of perfection" for "pinnacle of perfection".

ETYMOLOGY:
After Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Sheridan's play, The Rivals (1775), who confused words in this manner. The name Malaprop is coined from French "mal à propos" (inappropriate). Earliest documented use: 1830.

USAGE:
"Mayor Thomas Menino is sometimes made fun of for his malapropisms; he once said the city's parking shortage was 'an Alcatraz* around my neck'."
Katharine Q. Seelye; Ailing Mayor of Boston Says He's Still Up to the Job; The New York Times; Dec 17, 2012.
*albatross

See more usage examples of malapropism in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. -Linus Pauling, chemist, peace activist, author, educator; Nobel Prize in chemistry, Nobel Peace Prize (1901-1994)

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