Archive for the ‘Mishearings’ Category

this guy

March 25, 2018

Today’s One Big Happy, with a now-classic mishearing:

(#1) the sky’s heard as this guy’s

In my 5/30/12 posting “Annals of mishearing”, discussion of the sky misheard as this guy, on several occasions.

(more…)

The Star-Spangled Baseball

February 8, 2018

The One Big Happy from January 12th:

“song words”; from NOAD:

adverb & preposition o’er: archaic or poetic/literary contraction for over.

And then there’s the pizza mondegreen, Joe’s rationalization of these lines from “The Star-Spangled Banner”, as sung at the beginning of baseball games in the US:

O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

(more…)

3 for 15

November 15, 2017

Three recent cartoons, on different themes: a One Big Happy in which Ruthie misparses an expression; a Rhymes With Orange that requires considerable cultural knowledge for understanding; and a Prickly City that takes us once more into the territory of pumpkin spice ‘high quality’, now in a political context:

(more…)

From the great Anatomic War

November 8, 2017

Q: Did they ever have anatomic war?
A: Have you never heard of the great Anatomic War and one of its signal encounters, the 1346 Battle of Extremities, in which the Phalanges, with their long bones, overwhelmed the armored Carpals and Metacarpals?

(#1) Phalanges shooting down the Carpal and Metacarpal forces

(more…)

More Ruthian re-shaping

August 25, 2016

A One Big Happy (dated 7/27) in my comics feed today: once again, Ruthie re-shapes an unfamiliar expression, in this case the legal-tinged word offense (‘a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act’ — NOAD2), in the phrase first offense:

with first offense re-shaped as thirsty fence, a phrase that doesn’t make sense, but at least has the familiar word fence in it (and is very very close phonetically to first offense: initial f vs. 𝛉, unaccented ǝ vs. i or I).

I suppose it’s possible that at some point before the time of the strip, Ruthie heard first offense, didn’t understand it, and re-shaped it  But what the substitution really looks like is an old mishearing of first offense; mishearings very often don’t make sense, but do have parts that are recognizable words.

At this point, you’d really want to look at errors made by real, rather than cartoon, kids, in context.

 

Reciting formulas

April 13, 2016

The 3/13 One Big Happy, recently in my cartoon feed:

Ruthie and Joe are both mishearing parts of the Lord’s Prayer (in one of its many variants). Ruthie, line 1: “Our Father, who art in heaven”. Joe, line 2: “Hallowed be His name”.  This is a highly formulaic text, in a strange variety of English, most often heard recited by groups of people mumbling out of synch with one other. The text is odd, and hard to make out: a perfect breeding place for mishearings.

About as good as texts sung to music. Songs often have remarkable words — poetic, allusive, dialectal, archaic, idiosyncratic, whatever — and singing itself and musical accompaniment deform and conceal wording. Hence classic mondegreens. Rote recitation of texts nurtures something very similar to mondegreens (often classed with them).

Rita M. Weep

April 1, 2016

A One Big Happy that appeared in my feed yesterday, though it’s dated 3/2:

I’m enormously fond of Ruthie’s  attempts to find meaning in expressions that were unfamiliar to her when she first (mis)heard them, as here. She’d heard “read ’em and weep” used at a triumphant moment in playing poker, and clearly interpreted the beginning as the name Rita, but she isn’t entirely sure what the rest was, though she makes a try at M. Weep. (I think Rita M. Weep would be a fine character to weave a fantasy around. Maybe she’s the famous “lovely Rita, meter maid”.)

I note that the kids have picked up a good bit of poker talk. Trip jacks for “three jacks” is especially nice.

Ruthie and word division

March 3, 2016

Today’s One Big Happy, in which Ruthie mishears a phrase by dividing it into words not in the intended way:

grave event > gravy vent. It’s possible to distinguish the two in speech, but in ordinary connected speech, they’re homophonous. Of course, gravy vent doesn’t make much sense, but then that’s true of many other mishearings as well.

Word division mishearings are not uncommon, and word division is sometimes also exploited in jokes.

Hoist a pint to the mondegreen

February 18, 2016

From Kim Darnell, a link to a Meriwether of Montana page offering (for sale) “Hilarious Mistaken Lyrics Stainless Steel Glasses”: pints with mondegreens on them. One example:

(Hey, you might be a dick, but at least you practice safe sex.)

The original: addicted to love.

This is the one mondegreen in the set with sexual vocabulary in the mishearing. Three others are food-related; go figure.

(more…)

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.

(more…)