Wednesday 12 November 2008

Innocence is bliss!


That’s what NikNak said to me this morning when she was describing her food-labelling denial system.

‘Eh?’ I thought to myself wondering if I had misread her or missed some clever twist in this common statement.

And then it twigged that she actually meant ignorance not innocence…

I do this a lot, too – I regularly describe people as being ‘off their tree’ instead of ‘out of their tree’ or ‘off their rockers’ – it’s very embarrassing and recently I have taken to calling everyone ‘bonkers’ instead, to save the inevitable blushing that follows being corrected.

This is actually called a malapropism you know and Google tells me that this is defined as the substitution of an incorrect word for a word with a similar sound, usually to comic effect. It’s very common in Shakespeare, which is where I first came across it – Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream regularly spouted them.

It did however lead me to do some more Googling and I came across what is possibly the most embarrassing case I have ever heard of – and here it is, courtesy of Yahoo Answers:

When I was at a college New Years Eve party in Boston, this chick sitting next to me had on a really low-cut shirt. She looked down and announced, ‘Oh, my goodness! My clitoris is showing!’

Obviously, she meant to say cleavage… and I am so glad I am not her!

The other one Google gave me was the tale of an instructor for a children's law course described statutory rape as ‘When an adult has sex with a statue.’

I would love to continue writing but I have to leave my desk to go and laugh my head of in the loo at work as if I carry on sitting here crying tears of laughter, people are going to think I am off my tree!

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