Archive for the ‘Mishearings’ Category

Ruthie v. English

September 12, 2013

A set of One Big Happy strips in which little Ruthie confronts the language: a spectacular mondegreen, some other misunderstandings based on phonological similarity (with more familiar words replacing unusual ones), and some troubles with idiomatic usages.


take it as a given

July 21, 2013

In today’s Pearls Before Swine, Pig misunderstands yet another English expression:

Ok, it’s take it as a given ‘assume that it is true’, a partly transparent idiom. Which Pig apparently hadn’t heard before, so he understands the noun given, eggcornishly, as gibbon. Swing on, Pig.

(Yes, tremendously silly. But I am entertained.)

On the mistakes patrol

May 28, 2013

Three recent  mistakes on my part: a writing error; a mishearing; and a misinterpretation of what I heard.


Another OBH roundup

May 16, 2013

From Benita Bendon Campbell, three more One Big Happy strips: on questions, compound nouns, and tense in nouns. And then, as a bonus, four strips on Ruthie’s interpretations of words.


The 12-inch pianist

May 2, 2013

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse:

Size doesn’t matter. Or: Size matters. In any case, an allusion to an old joke.


An unfortunate mishearing

April 9, 2013

From Victor Steinbok on ADS-L, a link to a HuffPost Comedy posting with this photograph:


Correction time

April 8, 2013

From the NYT Magazine 4/7/13:

A March 24 article on preparing a holiday feast misidentified the state from which Cheerwine, a cherry-red soft drink, originates. It is North Carolina, not South Carolina. And an accompanying recipe for braised lamb omitted instructions for three ingredients. An onion, roughly chopped, along with a tablespoon of minced garlic and a tablespoon of minced ginger, are to be included when the dried fruit is added to the pot containing the meat in Step 1. In addition, an accompanying feature transcribed incorrectly a comment from Callie Khouri, creator of the television drama “Nashville,” about what she would put on her Easter playlist. Khouri said she would include music by Pops Staples, the late patriarch of the singing family the Staple Singers. She did not say she would include “pop staples.”

An entertaining mishearing / misinterpretation: the article is labeled as being by Callie Khouri, but clearly she spoke her comments (on the telephone or in a face-to-face interview) to someone who then turned them into text, rather than writing her comments up herself.


One Big Happy roundup

March 17, 2013

Four recent language-related cartoons from Rick Detorie’s strip One Big Happy (information on the strip here): two with mishearings/eggcorns, one on consonant clusters, and one on ambiguity.


perils of wisdom

March 13, 2013

Reported this morning by Mike Jankulak from a mailing list he’s subscribed to:

Also Ryan, I had sent you a question on the other group in hope you might have some perils of wisdom to share there.

(Perils of wisdom for pearls of wisdom.) In context, this doesn’t seem intentional, but the question is what sort of unintentional error it represents: an eggcorn, a mishearing, a simple misspelling, or what? These things are often hard to decide, and the perpetrators might or might not be able to shed light on things. And of course the source of one occurrence might be different from the sources of others.


The Telephone game

March 5, 2013

Yesterday’s Zippy continues a series on the game of Telephone in Dingburg:

What makes this sequence so entertaining is the complexity and prepostereous nature of the seed message, which pretty much guarantees  that the message (passed in circumstances not conducive to full comprehension) will mutate entertainingly.



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