Archive for the ‘Errors’ Category

Word exchange/reversal or what?

February 5, 2016

Back on December 27th, Doug Harris sent me this example (crucial bit boldfaced), from that day’s Daily Beast, in the article “U.S. Health Care Is Failing My Patients: From chronic conditions to mental health, our system is failing patients and doctors alike” by Farah Khan:

(1) Substance abuse, easily one of the most widespread mental health problems in this country, has yet to be adequately addressed by the current health care system. Rehab services are far and few between for patients who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Formally, this looks like what’s known in the speech errors business as a word reversal (Vicky Fromkin’s  preferred term), word exchange  (my preferred term), word metathesis, or (more colorfully) word-level spoonerism: the conventional form of the boldfaced expression is few and far between. There’s no question that such reversals or exchanges do occur as inadvertent speech errors, but there are reasons for thinking that (1) is not in fact an inadvertent error, but is more like a classical malapropism, in which the speaker or hearer produces exactly what they intended, but their production doesn’t accord with the practices of the larger community. And there’s a third possibility: that the practices of the larger community have changed to such an extent that it can no longer be claimed that (1) is clearly not in accord with them.


Unblogged mishearings

January 25, 2016

There is a Page on this blog with an inventory of postings about mishearings, but there are ten examples in my files that I haven’t “read into the record” in postings. Now to make them publicly available.


Six months of misreadings

January 25, 2016

Since my 7/2/15 posting on misreadings (with “Calamities” misread as “Catamites”), I’ve collected six more, summarized below. And there is now a Page on “Misreading postings”.


Viking Kids

January 18, 2016

Posted on Facebook yesterday, this entertaining composition:


The caption combines two kinds of word play on the original It takes a village to raise a child: a word exchange, of village and child; and a pun on raise / raze. And it alludes to the reputation of the Vikings as ravaging and pillaging as they move across the countryside.


The undercut

January 18, 2016

A Pinterest page on male haircuts led me to the undercut, a cut I’ve seen but had no name for (but this is a good one). From the Max Mayo site on men’s fashion (2/25/15, “45 Stylish Looks of Undercut Hairstyle”):

2015 would be the year faux-hawk officially died. But instead of dying by way of losing sight of it on the street (remember mullets from the 80s?) faux-hawk became a permanent fixture on today’s hairstyle menu, joining the classic league of buzz cuts, side-parted and the Ivy League.

In 2014, undercut hairstyle dethroned faux-hawk and took over the “Most Popular Hairstyle” crown. The request for the “IT” haircut at barber shops and salons continues to grow 3 years after we first spotted (and then embraced) the trend. The natural progression of the trend has given birth to countless permutations of the original style.

An undercut is short on the sides and full on the top. In a disconnected undercut, the sides are very short and clearly separate from the top; in a faded undercut, the sides blend gradually into the longer top.

Some examples to come, the first featuring male model (and former footballer) John Halls, who will provoke a digression showing him hunky in his underwear (and an undercut). Then a few notes on the faux hawk (or faux-hawk), a ‘false mohawk’.


Oh, the *Heimlich* maneuver!

January 17, 2016

A Bloom County cartoon from 6/25/06, with a malapropistic Opus:

Hind-lick maneuver as an error for Heimlich maneuver has made the net rounds as a joke about two hillbillies. I prefer Breathed’s confused-penguin version.

Ruthie and the radio doctor

January 7, 2016

The One Big Happy from the 5th, with Ruthie, characteristically, misunderstanding an unfamiliar medical term:

Clever of Ruthie’s grandfather to get to radiologist so quickly.


Wrestling with gay porn

January 6, 2016

This is a follow-up to something I just posted on AZBlogX, “Wrestling match”, about a piece of gay porn from the C1R studio, more specifically about the first scene (of three) in the new sports-oriented porn flick Stuff It In The Hole: Take It For The Team 2, a scene about (Greco-Roman) wrestling. With totally X-rated images of the pornstars Braxton Smith and Javier Cruz, plus discussion of their characteristics as a couple and of the sex they engage in. Here I have four (non-X-rated) things to post about: the genre of wrestling porn, and three linguistic observations: about the title of the flick and about two errors in the ad copy that C1R distributed about the film — one either some kind of malapropism or a word confusion, the other probably a simple typo.


For Sainte Geneviève, who saved Paris from the Huns

January 4, 2016

Two language-related cartoons yesterday, for Saint Genevieve’s Day:




Pockets in his trunks

December 25, 2015

(Only a little about language here, beyond the hanky code, but there is plain talk about gay sex, so this is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

On the 22nd from Daily Jocks, with a sale offer:

Get a massive 20% off the entire DailyJocks Neon Sports Range!  No minumum [note anticipation of the U in the last syllable] spend and no promo code needed + free global shipping! [On the nouning of spend, see my 8/23/12 posting on this blog.]

All made from a super breathable Airmesh and cotton/spandex blend, the jock is a brief-jock style giving you all the front support of a brief with plenty of room at the back [that is, there’s no seat panel], while the [low-rise] trunk features deep side pockets in case you need to keep anything handy.

Available in black and white with a variety of fun neon inspired highlights!

Kent just loved the pockets in his
Neon trunks. For the right, a neat
Pocket square, in navy blue –
Fuck me – or light blue – wanna
Suck your cock; for the left, his
American Sexpress card, to pay the man.
He had a magenta hanky –
Armpit fetish – but never used it, ’cause
Guys confuse magenta and mauve, and
Navels don’t do a thing for him.



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