Thursday 2 May 2013

Playing with words

I love playing with words. I can happily sit with a cryptic crossword for hours and delight over such clues as:
      Big impression made by small character on the stage (6 letters)
      [The answer is at the bottom of this post in case you haven't worked it out.]
Puns are my favourite kind of joke... I couldn't work out why the ball was getting bigger, and then it hit me. No? Oh well, it made me smile. It's the kind of joke that provides Tim Vine with a living, isn't it?

Unintentional malapropisms have me helpless with laughter. Apologies to regular visitors to this blog because I have told this anecdote before, but I once asked the ice cream seller for a large cornflake instead of a large cornet with a flake, I laughed so much I ended up in a heap on the pavement [Don't know who left the heap there - boom! boom!... Sorry!]

Spoonerisms are equally amusing. I've mixed up the phrase 'nook and cranny' so many times that now, when things go missing, I regularly search in every crook and nanny. And whenever the weather forecaster announces that there will be frost and fog I am compelled to add, "Or do they mean fost and frog?" Humour me. April was a long month!

I recently heard of a different kind of word mix-up, a mondegreen, the mis-hearing of song lyrics. As I've just spent the entire month of April immersed in song lyrics I thought it was serendipitous when, half way through the month, I turned on BBC Radio 4 as they were discussing mondegreens. I hope I didn't commit any glaring mondegreens during the A to Z. I was extremely careful because I have been known to sing the occasional incorrect song word. My best remembered mondegreen was a song called The Wichita Lineman. I was convinced that it was called The Witch of Alignment. 

If you've made any glaring gaffs over song words or well-known phrases then do please share them. I'm sure we could all do with a smile after the strains of a cold, dull and extremely busy April.

[The answer to that crossword clue is impact. Good, isn't it!]