Friday, October 26, 2007

Mondegreens and idiots

...uh, idioms, that is. So now the following really random thoughts:

The elephant in the room is an English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a small room would be quite impossible to overlook.

When people cherry pick, they choose things that support their position, while ignoring anything that contradicts it.

A person who is extremely talkative can talk the hind legs off a donkey.

A dog and pony show is a presentation that has lots of style, but no real content.

"A mondegreen* is repeating the mishearing of a phrase in such a way that it acquires a new meaning."

"Shirley, good Mrs. Murphy shall follow me all the days of my life" instead of "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me...

"Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own ..." as opposed to "And He walks with me, and He talks with me..."

"Gladly, my cross-eyed bear" instead of "Gladly my cross I'd bear".

Or "While shepherds washed their socks at night" instead of "While shepherds watched their flocks by night..."

* Somewhat the opposite of malapropism, which a saying of the wrong word or words.

1 comment:

clinch64 said...

It seems that a lot of these phrases are disappearing from our jargon.It's unfortunate in a way , as they certainly add to an otherwise dull conversation. A couple of ones that come to mind for me are: "like ugly on an ape", and "thinner than turnip soup."