Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Malapropism / mal-uh-PROP-iz-uhm / noun
1. An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
2. An example of such misuse.

At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who "cares for naught but appearances," can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, maching-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken "for granite."
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The Poisonwood Bible': A Family a Heart of Darkness", New York Times, October 16, 1998

He also had, as a former colleague puts it, "a photogenic memory"--a malapropism that captures his gift for the social side of life, his Clintonian ability to remember names of countless people he has met only briefly.
-- Eric Pooley and S.C. Gwynne, "How George Got His Groove", Time, June 21, 1999

Its success may be unusual, but brunt force is hardly the only malapropism pushing its way into our lexicon.
-- Jan Freeman, "CYCLING; Crashes Jolt the Standings, And Oust a Tour Favorite", Boston Globe, April 13, 2008

No comments: