Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today's word is...


A mondegreen is the mishearing (usually accidental) of a phrase in such a way that it acquires a new meaning.

The word "mondegreen" is itself a mondegreen. The American writer Sylvia Wright coined it in an essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen", which was published in Harper's Magazine in November 1954. She wrote:

When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy's Reliques. One of my favorite poems began, as I remember:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,

Oh, where hae ye been?

They hae slain the Earl Amurray, [sic]

And Lady Mondegreen.

The actual fourth line is "And laid him on the green", from the anonymous 17th century ballad "The Bonny Earl O' Murray".

I just love this word! I saw it on fellow blogger Paul's blog, and finally looked it up. It seems that it is usually applied to misheard song lyrics, and I've been a fan of those for a long time. Several years ago, I found the best website for that, and I'm happy to see it's still going strong. One of my personal favorites was from my friend Jackie. I can't recall if it was her or her husband who used to sing "One less bell to answer...one less pig to fry." I had one myself, with Elvis's "Stuck On You." I thought he was singing "I am the kitchen, I am the hall..." Shane cracked up and said, "No, it's HIDE in the kitchen, HIDE in the hall!" How fun to find out that there is an actual word for such a thing! If you've got any good mondegreens, please share them. They always make me laugh!

A much better day at work today--hopefully this continues for my coworkers who have to work on Thanksgiving this year. My good day was a little spoiled by some frustrating computer stuff at the end of the day, but it's over and done with, and I will not think about it again tonight. I've got a load of laundry going so I don't have to worry about it tomorrow evening, because that's when I'll be putting together my macaroni and cheese for Thursday (I got Mom's recipe the other day--thanks, Mom!). I think I will successfully manage to avoid the grocery store tomorrow after work--I've already gotten everything I need. It's been busy enough in the past week or so, I can imagine what Wednesday will be like! I hope you all are ready for the holiday!

Oh, and here's an oddity for you:

Beijing - Doctors treating a Chinese woman who complained of feeling weak discovered she had only half a brain.

The woman, 39, from Wuhan city, has lived a normal life and came to hospital complaining of feeling weak and stiff.

Zhang Linhong, director of the hospital's neural rehabilitation department, said: "On the MRI scans we were surprised to see that she has grey matter only on the right side."

Hey...I think I know that woman!


deshelestraci said...

I love that word also!  And the 1/2 brain thing...weird!

jimsulliv3 said...

Know her? That malady runs in my ex-wife's family. Happy T-Day