Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Choice Words

  1. Feb 4, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Do you have any favorite malaprops or mispronounced words?

    Some guy just called into a radio show and asked about sound waves that cancellate.

    Another favorite of mine is the common midwestern usage of the word de-thaw - you take the meat out of the freezer to de-thaw it. We discovered that with the large German population in this part of the US, this is probably a remnant of be-thaw, which would make sense to a German American.

    Tsu likes to make fun of me if I do something like this. She still hasn't figured out that I enjoy self defecating humor.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My grandfather used to use the word discombobulated all the time, except he pronounced it discombooberated. Since I never heard the word spoken by anyone but him, 1) I didn't know it was a real word (he was fond of making up words when it suited him) and 2) it's the only pronunciation of it I knew for a long time. I was quite fond of the word when younger.

    Then again, my grandfather was from Maine, so I picked up lots of strange word pronunciations from him.

    Oh, we had a whole rhyme that was nonsense words...instead of eeny meeny miney mo, our rhyme (that I still love using with kids if the ocassion warrants it) was:
    Inty, minty, tibity fee
    A deelyer, a dollyer, a nominee
    Hytcha, pytcha, dominytcha
    Hans, pans, dust
    Out comes Y. O. U.

    I suspect some of those words might have originated from actual known English words, like the second line might have been something like "A dealer, a dollar, a nominee" but that's now how we said it, and not like it would have made any more sense.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2005 #3

    Wait, what's wrong with de-thaw?
     
  5. Feb 4, 2005 #4
    go to bed franz

    p.s. I have more posts than you nah-nah-nah-nah-nah
     
  6. Feb 4, 2005 #5
    Yeah, nice one Mooners. I don't know what that 'rhyme' means either, but I read it aloud and I've sprouted a tail and cloven hooves. :frown: Which part of Blair did you say you come from? :biggrin:
     
  7. Feb 4, 2005 #6

    Wow congratulations.

    Oh, and just for reference, i've been running on a 36 hour day for the past 144 hours.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2005 #7

    plover

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    There were two that I must have read for years before ever hearing them pronounced: mishapen and disheveled

    My internal pronunciation for the first was 'miss happen', the derivation was that it was something which had suffered a mishap.

    As for the second, I somehow failed to notice the spelling and pronounced it dis-shelved, i.e. it was like being a disturbed shelf (if this makes no sense to you, I suggest watching some Tom & Jerry cartoons; anyway, who ever heard of a shevel?).

    And while it hardly counts as a misusage (given that there appear to be several countries full of people who use it), I'm bemused by "disorientated".
     
  9. Feb 4, 2005 #8
    Irregarless is a favorite of my family. One of my sisters and I started going one further (turning it to eleven) and started using irretardless.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2005 #9
    Why is it that all the TAs that I get always mispronounce the word 'subtract'? They all say 'substract!'! WHY???????????? :rofl:
     
  11. Feb 4, 2005 #10

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :bugeye: That's a new one for me. Not a "favorite" malapropism, but my mom is notorious for adding extra letters to words when she says them. Drives me batty. Spelling books would start bursting into flame if she ever had a conversation with Bush.
     
  12. Feb 4, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :biggrin: Ooh, so it does work! :rofl:

    It was just so fun to say. It could be the reason I had such an easy time memorizing the Jabberwocky poem when we were assigned that in school; I was already used to memorizing nonsense words.
     
  13. Feb 4, 2005 #12

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Um, if you dethaw it, it'll still be frozen! :rofl:
     
  14. Feb 4, 2005 #13

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I often hear "precipitation" pronounced "percipitation".
     
  15. Feb 4, 2005 #14

    FredGarvin

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Along the same lines...a personal pet peeve of mine:

    "You have three choices..."

    No. You have ONE choice and THREE options.
     
  16. Feb 4, 2005 #15
    Heard this from a Playboy playmate: "Yeah, I'd like to conversate with a guy first then see what happens."
     
  17. Feb 4, 2005 #16

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Oh, that reminds me of one of the flakes I ran into yesterday talking about an organization that provides accreditation, she said we were "accreditated" by them. :rofl:
     
  18. Feb 5, 2005 #17
    The State of Oklahoma has some interesting city/town names that, when put together properly (or improperly, for that matter), tell a little story;

    Sallisaw Henrietta Wagoner Catoosa.

    :redface: :tongue:
     
  19. Feb 5, 2005 #18

    hypnagogue

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't know about "favorite," but I can't believe this thread is already on its second page without someone mentioning 'nucular.'
     
  20. Feb 5, 2005 #19

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    "Agendarize" or "agenderize" - in the context used, I understand it to mean "to put something in an agenda" or "collect matters for discussion and place them in an agenda".

    I heard the word used by a state legislator during a discussion about legislative matters. Oh, well.

    We need a new program - 'leave no adult behind.'

    I think state and federal politicians should take a mandatory scholastic achievement test in order to qualify for placement on a ballot. IMO, most politicians would not pass basic high school proficiency exams.

    We've come along way (downward) since Jefferson, Madison, Ben Franklin et al.
     
  21. Feb 5, 2005 #20

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl: But Bush can't promote that sort of program, or everyone will think he's simply being self-serving. :rofl: On the other hand, we've all had those sort of days when the right word just won't come to mind, and I do sympathize that in the case of some public officials, it's just unfortunate that there are cameras and reporters around to record and publicize the rare slip. As for others, well, sadly it isn't that rare.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Choice Words
  1. Choices (Replies: 41)

  2. Is there a word? (Replies: 10)

  3. Free Choice (Replies: 17)

  4. Weapons of Choice (Replies: 15)

Loading...