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February 25, 2013
The malaprop is defined as the incorrect usage of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word, usually with comic effect.
It comes from Irish playwright and Whig statesman, Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 play, “The Rivals." In it, a character named Lady Malaprop uttered lines like this:
"Make no delusions to the past."
Carmine Lupertazzi Jr. of the Sopranos perpetrated this one:
"You're very observant: the sacred and the propane."
Former president George W. Bush is coming on strong (or wrong) in the malaprop hall of fame.
"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile."
"It will take time to restore chaos and order."
Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson weighed in with a few contenders:
"I might just fade into Bolivian, you know what I mean?"
"Hannibal had real guts. He rode elephants into Cartilage."
Another ex-Yankee, Yogi Berra has even been given an official name for his malaprops: "Yogisms."
The first official Yogism occurred in an after dinner speech he made in his hometown St. Louis in 1947 with this disarming opening: "I wanna thank everybody here for making this night unnecessary."
It would be folly to leave these out (or in):
"You can observe a lot by watching."
"Ninety percent of the game is half mental."
Yogi also said, “It’s not over, 'till it’s over."
Consider this over.