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What is a malapropism?

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Hipstercrite: What is a malapropism?

Monday, May 01, 2006

What is a malapropism?

From Wikipedia (you'd think they are paying me for all the advertising I do for them) -
A malapropism (from French mal à propos, "ill to purpose") is an incorrect usage of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word with different meaning, usually with comic effect. The term comes from the name of Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy, The Rivals (1775), whose name was in turn derived from the existing English word malapropos, meaning "inappropriately".


The funny thing is I read up on this word awhile ago when I was bored. Months later I was in Starbucks and the people behind the counter are like, "Would you have any idea what the word is for when you use use a word for something but it's incorrect but it's similar to the word you are looking for?" My face lit up and I said, "Well, actually I do..." and gave them a whole history of the word and they looked at me like I was a freak.


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