The English language is tricky, so it’s no wonder that we screw it up sometimes. Malapropisms and Spoonerisms are common enough (the bane of my uni tutorials), but what about Paraprosdokians, Wellerisms, and Tom Swiftys?
Daily Writing Tips have got it covered. But here’s a quick list of my favourites…
Malapropism – Accidently putting the wrong word into a sentence. A good example is the title of this post, taken from the character Mrs. Malaprop. You can find more humorous and irritating examples here.
Spoonerism: Accidently exchanging the sounds of two words in a sentence, the most used example being “A well-boiled icicle”, as opposed to “A well-oiled bicycle”.
Tom Swifty – When the content of the sentence humorously mirrors the dialogue tag used. My favourite is probably “‘We need a pencil sharpener,’ Tom said bluntly.” Get it? HA! You can find more here.
Mondegreen – Not listed on the Daily Writing Tips site, but interesting nonetheless (and super common), the mondegreen is the mishearing of words, like mistaking “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” for “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”. And there are a bunch more mondegreens here.
So now that I’ve brushed up on my funny phrases, maybe it won’t be so annoying to hear them in everyday speech. There aren’t nearly enough Tom Swiftys, in my opinion.