From the “Metropolitan Diary” in the NYT of November 21st, this letter from Diane Orton:

My 4 1/2-year-old grandson, Max, hears and loves a great deal of classical music; one of his favorites is “The Rite of Spring.”

Riding in the car and listening to it with my musician son, Max told his dad who had composed it: “Eeyore Stravinsky.”

A child mondegreen, or childegreen for short.

The original use for mondegreen was for mishearings of expressions in songs or poetry (sometimes with an eggcornish reinterpretation of the material), but the term is sometimes extended to other mishearings, especially of fixed expressions, for instance proper names. And kids, with their relatively narrow experience of the vast world of fixed expressions, are especially prone to such mishearings. Which brings us to Eeyore Stravinsky, with Igor misheard as the (for the child) more familiar Eeyore.

Now it’s the holiday season, time for Rudolph’s companion Olive, the other reindeer, who used to laugh and call him names.

One Response to “Childegreens”

  1. Annals of mishearing « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Childegreens (link): Eeyore […]

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