Saturday, October 03, 2009

Joist or Joyce

Not only do we misunderstand songs, we often mishear or misunderstand words used in conversation, business, etc. One I'll never forget reading is about a person who responded strangely to the observation "no man is an island", thinking he heard "no mayonnaise in Ireland".

When I started as a teenage carpenter's helper, there was a lot of technical jargon used that I had neither read nor heard. I misunderstood quite a bit, if I remember correctly. One of the most memorable to me is that I thought a "joist" (a horizontal timber at the ceiling) was a "joyce" (as in the women's name Joyce).


Anonymous said...

A word I recall being used in another context than from the common meaning today was the word "dope." I seem to recall quite a few old radio broadcasters using it especially.

To give us the "dope" of the story was to get straight to the point and be direct. I would imagine this terminology fell out of favor when the drug culture took hold in the 1960's.

Jim1927 said...

You would have a jolly good time where I grew up in East London where we spoke in Cockney Rhyme. Words were rhymed such as apples and pears for stairs, and we would just use the non-rhyming word (apples) in a sentence. I'm going apples to visit uncle ted...I'm going upstairs to bed.

Goin'round johnny is going around the corner. We walk on pavement and drive on motorway. If traffic is in a tailback we look for a layby.



R. L. Vaughn said...

Whether jelly or wine, it didn't come from "musky dimes".