muster

Passed on by Karen Chung on Facebook, yesterday’s Daddy’s Home:

Pass mustard for pass muster is in the Eggcorn Database; it substitutes a familiar lexical item for a less familiar one (in this case, in an idiom). Semantically, pass mustard has the advantage over pass muster by consisting of familiar items, but the contribution of mustard to the meaning of the whole is not at all clear, so this looks like a demi-eggcorn.

The cartoon has another extension of mustard to the territory of muster, this time for metaphorical muster ‘summon up’ (with direct objects denoting feelings, attitudes, or responses), originally based on the military verb muster (as in muster troops). Again, it’s hard to see how mustard is a semantic improvement here.

About the comic strip (which has not appeared on this blog before), from Wikipedia:

Daddy’s Home is a daily comic strip which premiered in American newspapers on March 10, 2008, and is syndicated by Creators Syndicate. The strip can currently be seen in large market newspapers such as the Orange County Register and The Washington Post (as part of a try-out period during a Doonesbury hiatus) and is slowly being rolled out across the country as part of yearly newspaper comics surveys to replace older titles. The strip is written by Tony Rubino and illustrated by Gary Markstein, a features designer with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Daddy’s Home deals with a family where the father, Pete, is a copywriter who works out of his home office and is a stay-at-home dad to his son Elliot, while his wife Peggy is out in the working world. Events occurring in the comic strip are usually humorous and involve Pete and Peggy trying to make sense out of their living arrangements and finding time for each other, Elliot’s own adventures with his best friend, next door neighbor Maria, and Pete trying to write on his computer, which is sentient and able to talk back to him as he deals with writer’s block.

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