04 June 2009

Mrs Malaprop is in the House

Words you don't want to get mixed up:
affluent - effluent
elicit - illicit
eminent - imminent
evade - invade
desert - dessert
deviate - deviant
gorilla - guerrilla
in appropriate - inappropriate

New verb in the House of Onion:
romanise (verb) - Colloquial rom
[usage: Please rom that itals entry to indicate it has progressed from pending to final.]

Suspicious verbs we have encountered recently:
birthday (verb)*
We will birthday that scheduling strategy next week.

Phrases that are almost common, but not quite:
Slow as a wet weak
Towing the line
To wet your appetite
For all intensive purposes
Nip it in the butt**
To dry reach
A hare's breath
One in the same
No if, sands, or buts
Anchors away
One fowl swoop [Unless it is a chicken leaping off its hutch!]***
One foul swoop [not much better]
Slight-of-hand [The sleight-of-hand magicians might also be slight of hand if they are small-boned.]

The moment we stepped foot in the murky waters of misused phrases, we knew there would be much to do about nothing, but we decided to play it by year...

*Thanks to Lili for bringing this one to our attention.
** This is so hilarious we can't look at it without laughing.
***Although, it has to be said, Macduff might be partially to blame for muddying these waters given that in the same breath he calls Macbeth a 'hell-kite' who has done away with all his 'pretty chickens'.


Anonymous said...

'Birthday' as a verb? Ew. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. What is it meant to mean?

I must admit that I also use 'rom' as a verb. And every time, I get that B-52s song in my head: 'Rom if you want to, rom around the world.' Maybe this reveals my subconscious hatred of slabs of ital text?

Sarah H

Anonymous said...

Did you mean to write "one fowl swoop"? One fell swoop - correct quote. One foul swoop - meaning not entirely lost. One fowl swoop - reasonable but not the same idea at all. Or maybe I'm just being influenced by the fact that my mother used to say "one foul swoop" all the time and I don't like to think of her as getting things wrong.

The Alien Onions said...

Shawjonathan - Ahhh ha ha ha ha! Serve us right to let one of our through the net!

We meant FOWL swoop. Although we have also seen/heard FOUL swoop which, while closer to the mark is, if you ask us, still wrong wrong wrong. Not just becuase it's a misquote but because 'fell' - meaning cruel or fierce - is such a delicious and underused word.

We are updating the post to semi-hide our shame, while leaving this comment here as a reminder to guard against hubris and to always proofread that 17th time!

The Alien Onions said...

OMG now I've made a typo in the comment. Curse you, shawjonathan, you've jinxed me!!

Misrule said...

Do Not Curse the shawjonathan or the ridgejudith might come after you...

However, I do need to tell you that it was but a mere two weeks ago that I had an affluence of effluence in my bathroom and it was Not Pretty. No-one, I tell you, No-One needs to know their neighbours with that degree of intimacy.

Yours adverbally,


Oslo Davis said...

Public - Pubic

eatnik said...

Segway is also growing in popularity.