My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Watch Your Language

Malapropalooza has had a disappointing past couple of months. Sure, writers make mistakes but lately, only boring ones. It’s MAY not CAN – things like that. Ho hum. Come on you guys! The Wave-inatrix needs a good laugh!

Oh, but no tears, Wavers. The Wave-inatrix can always find some usage boo-boo that drive me nuts. For example: Like William Safire, who ran a piece in last week’s Sunday New York Times, I also get an eye tic when I see a writer maltreating the word “of”. As in – I could of gone there. KIDS – memorize this – it’s could HAVE. Interestingly, Safire noted that the reason many have lazily adopted “could of” is that it is a phonetic pronunciation of the contraction could’ve. Go ahead. Said it. Could’ve. Get it? Sounds like – could OF. BUT IT’S NOT. All right, I think I’ve beaten that horse to death.

Now, just for fun, here are some words that sound similar but have very different meanings – can you correctly define them?



All right – good job – nobody peeked!

Brevity: shortness of duration; especially : shortness or conciseness of expression.

Levity: excessive or unseemly frivolity.

Pathos: an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion.

Bathos: insincere or overdone pathos; sentimentalism.

Give yourself five points and a cupcake if you got those correct. Now, here’s another one that absolute cracks the Wave-inatrix up when I see it confused:

Etymology – the study of the origin of words
Entomology – the study of BUGS

So it’s ETY – words and ENTO – bugs. Commit that to memory.

Random Expressions and Definitions:

You raise “hue and cry” – not HEW and cry. To “hew” something is to cut it. Hue and cry actually dates back to Latin: hutesium et clamor, "a horn and shouting".

Language, as we have discussed many a time, bends, twists and changes over time – and it always has.

Colloquialisms (and I’m quoting Wiki here) denote a manner of speaking or writing that is characteristic of familiar "common" conversation; informal colloquialisms can include words (such as "y'all", "gonna" or "grouty"), phrases (such as "ain't nothin'", "dressed for bear" and "dead as a doornail"), or sometimes even an entire aphorism. ("There's more than one way to skin a cat").

So, as one example, to lose your religion means to lose your sh*t, basically.

Slang is a little different in that “it is sometimes regional in that it is used only in a particular territory. Slang terms are frequently particular to a certain subculture, such as musicians, and members of minority groups. Nevertheless, usage of slang expressions can spread outside their original arenas to become commonly used, such as "cool" and "jive". While some words eventually lose their status as slang, others continue to be considered as such by most speakers. In spite of this, the process tends to lead the original users to replace the words with other, less-recognized terms to maintain group identity."

Why, just today my wonderful computer genius King of the World Greg Madore proclaimed something on my computer “mad sick”. Let me translate for you geezers – that’s akin to, oh, maybe something we would have called “wicked” or “way cool”.

Idiom (and here again, I thank my pal, Wiki) is an expression, that is a term or phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced from the literal definitions and the arrangement of its parts, but refers instead to a figurative meaning that is known only through common use.

Hang on – here’s your daily dose of Big Rouge Wave Entertainment – the Wiki definition of Idiom goes on:

In the English expression to spank the monkey, for example, a listener knowing only the meaning of spank and monkey would be unable to deduce the expression's actual meaning (which is to masturbate vigorously). Although it can refer literally to the act of striking an actual monkey with a hand, native speakers rarely use it that way. It cannot be directly translated to other languages – for example, the same expression in German is den Affen schlagen (to strike the ape), with the ape being as detachable from its usual meaning as the monkey in the English phrase is. The same expression in Dutch is het loodje leggen (to lay the piece of lead), which is entirely different from the English expression, too. Other expressions include taking the pink canoe to tuna town and yummy touchy cheeky time. It is estimated that William Shakespeare coined over 2,000 idioms still in use today

And now, dear Wavers, I leave you with a hysterical and appropriately themed video from Funny or Die: Palatial Regalia

ShowHype: hype it up!

If you enjoyed this post, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS.

1 comment:

Fun Joel said...

Here's another one that I see pop up ALL the time:


Amused is entertained.
Bemused is perplexed or confused.