Spoonerisms

What happened? I went to Vancouver the end of May and came home the beginning of June to hundred degree weather! Summer is here folks, "weather" ya like it or not. We're getting into official BBQ season.

In fact, we attended our first BBQ of the season recently, hosted by my dear friends to celebrate the fact that they are now official U.S. citizens! It was a magical day. Beautiful weather, volleyball set up, a great turn out of eclectic people and an impressive menu complete with printed patriotic description tags.

My friend was in the kitchen artistically arranging all that she had prepared, and her husband was manning the BBQ. I went out to chat with him and admire their garden. We were having a nice conversation about the naturalization test etc. when my friend came out to get the Tri Tip. I mentioned to her that I was just "keeping her cusband humpany" since no one else was tlking with him.

No sooner had the words exited my lips than I was struck by the odd expression on my friend's face! Course I had meant to say "keeping your husband company" but it didn't come out that way. Of course I started laughing hysterically and attesting to the fact that I had only drank one half of one beer. Of all things to say! It still makes me laugh. I don't think her husband even heard, or at least I hope he didn't. My friend and I had a good laugh over it, and just had to share it with another friend.

I explained that this was a perfect example of an awkward spoonerism. My friend, being from Germany, was unfamiliar with the word "spoonerism", so I decided to give her a brief linguistic's lesson. This Muse is dedicated to her.

So, here is the official definition of Spoonerism from Dictionary.com:


–noun
the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.

Spoonerisms are phrases, sentences, or words in language with swapped sounds. Usually this happens by accident, particularly if you're speaking fast. Come and wook out of the lindow is an example.

Here's a bit of interesting info I found on a great little website:

http://www.fun-with-words.com/index.html

I think they got their info from a Reader's Digest Article from 1995.

Of course, there are many millions of possible Spoonerisms, but those which are of most interest (mainly for their amusement value) are the ones in which the Spoonerism makes sense as well as the original phrase.

# Tease my ears (Ease my tears)
# A lack of pies (A pack of lies)
# It's roaring with pain (It's pouring with rain)
# Wave the sails (Save the whales)


Spoonerisms are named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844-1930) who was Dean and Warden of New College in Oxford, England. He is reputed to have made these verbal slips frequently.

Born in 1844 in London, Spooner became an Anglican priest and a scholar. During a 60-year association with Oxford University, he lectured in history, philosophy, and divinity. From 1876 to 1889, he served as a Dean, and from 1903 to 1924 as Warden, or president.

Spooner was an albino, small, with a pink face, poor eyesight, and a head too large for his body. His reputation was that of a genial, kindly, hospitable man. He seems also to have been something of an absent-minded professor. He once invited a faculty member to tea "to welcome our new archaeology Fellow."
"But, sir," the man replied, "I am our new archaeology Fellow."
"Never mind," Spooner said, "Come all the same."

So now that you've all been educated on what constitutes a Spoonerism, I had to share this silly list I found while gathering material: You figure out which sounds to transpose in order to turn something innocent into something nasty!

Rude Spoonerisms
It's easy to get tongue-tied and accidentally say something rude, as you'll know if you've ever watched one of those compilations of TV slip-ups. Often just switching two small sounds in a phrase will result in an embarrassing, or even obscene Spoonerism!

Try reading these out loud, but not within earshot of your grandmother... just in case!

* The acrobats displayed some cunning stunts.

* Sir, you are certainly a shining wit.

* He fills her soul with hope.

* It's the Tale of Two Cities.

* Have you brought your sleeping bag?

* She is sure pretty.

* Have you seen her sick duck?

* Oh, the suffering of purgery on my soul!

* He's not a pheasant plucker.

* She showed me her tool kits.

* He's a smart fella.

* A hot pie would make me happy.

* Fire truck.

* Overhead door.

And while we're at it, how about a little lesson on Palindromes? We're supposed to learn this stuff in school, but just in case you missed that day, I will offer a crash course. You know. The sentences or phrases like "race car" which can be read the same forwards and backwards? Impress your friends with your Linguistics knowledge:

Don't nod.

Dogma: I am God

Never odd or even

Too bad - I hid a boot

Rats live on no evil star

No trace; not one carton

Was it Elliot's toilet I saw?

Murder for a jar of red rum

May a moody baby doom a yam?

Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog!

Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas!

A Toyota! Race fast.. safe car; a Toyota

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to a new era?

Doc Note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod

No, it never propagates if I set a gap or prevention

Anne, I vote more cars race Rome to Vienna

Some men interpret nine memos

Campus motto: Bottom up, Mac

Go deliver a dare, vile dog

Madam, in Eden I'm Adam

Ah, Satan sees Natasha

Lisa Bonet ate no basil

Do geese see God?

And since I still have a bit of space to fill, I decided to plagiarize one last little segment on Ambiguities:

Anything that is said to be ambiguous is open to more than one interpretation. Sentences and words that are ambiguous have more than one possible meaning.

Put the box on the table by the window in the kitchen is an ambiguous sentence. It could mean any of the following:

* Put the box onto the table that is by the window in the kitchen.
* Take the box that is on the table and put it by the window in the kitchen.
* Take the box off the table that is by the window and put it in the kitchen.

To understand the first and third meanings, it may be helpful to imagine that in the kitchen there are two tables: one by the window and one not.

Ambiguous Newspaper Headlines
Newspaper headlines need to be as short as possible, so whilst they obey grammatical rules, they tend to omit little, unimportant words like the and is. But are these words unimportant? The result of leaving them out can result in highly ambiguous sentences, which are often quite amusing.

These are real newspaper headlines:

* KIDS MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACKS
* GRANDMOTHER OF EIGHT MAKES HOLE IN ONE
* MILK DRINKERS ARE TURNING TO POWDER
* DRUNK GETS NINE MONTHS IN VIOLIN CASE

Glad I learned English first.

Dappy Hather's Day!

Father To Daughter

by Harry Harrison, Jr.

click here to buy the book

Always remember, she can do anything a boy can do.

***

When she's old enough, sign her up for karate lessons. This is more for your sake than hers.

***

Review her homework with her nightly and drill her to help study for tests. This is an excellent way to spend time with her.

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Teach her not to judge other people by the labels they wear.

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Keep her secrets. This way she will begin to trust men.

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Trust her mom to understand the mystery of little girls.You have yet to figure out the mystery of big ones.

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Don't be the dad who takes his daughter' sports too seriously. You'll miss some great times.

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Remember, if her home life is crazy, the rest of her life will be too.

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Teach her patience, kindness, and tolerance. If you don't, many years from now you'll wish you had.

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Show her how to play poker.

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Take her for a walkin the woods.Show her what poisen ivy looks like, how to cross a stream and how to find her way back.

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Take her out shopping, just the two of you. But resist the urge to buy out the store.

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If she starts moping at meals and barking at her family and if she refuses to talk to one certain boy, you can be sure she's making his life miserable as well.

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Know that she will not like it if you become better friends with her boyfriend than she is.

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Wait up for her.Knowing Dad will be greeting her at the door has a very positive effect on her decision- making process

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During those rare times when she actually wants to talk to you, turn the TV off and listen. You never know when this will happen again.

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Help her set goals. If she has nothing to aim for, what will she shoot for?

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Let her see, by the way you treat your wife, the way that a man is supposed to treat a woman.

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Odd looking boys will start showing up at your house. This is to be expected because adolescent boys are odd looking.

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Don't think that buying her soccer cleats is going to be any easier (or cheaper) Than buying her other shoes.

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Understand that it's possible for a girl who has everything to be miserable sometimes. Remember, you can't always fix all her problems.

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.She may decide to punish you by not talking. Enjoy the peace.

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Drive the carpool. You'll learn firsthand what she's doing each day.

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Encourage her to be kind. Even to the girl nobody likes.

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Always respect her privacy and modesty.

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Praise he often. Let her know you love her the way she is. If you tell her this often enough she might remember it throughout adolescence.

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Dance with her always. She'll never be too young or too old.

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Her mom will show her how to make chocolate chip cookies. You will show her how to dunk them in milk.

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Remember, fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women and girls. Do not let her believe she can diet and exercise her way to this look.

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Stay out of the fights between her and her mother, unless you judge one or both as being completely irrational. Then venture in at your own risk.

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Teach her to avoid reckless people.

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She'll say you're always lecturing. You'll say she never listens. You will both be right.

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Encourage her to volunteer. A great cure for a selfish teen is community work.

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She will decide you need a complete head-to-toe, fashion makeover. Beware! This will not make you look cool.

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Understand that when she is 15, and wearing a black dress, with her hair done and face made up, you will be very hesitant to let her leave the house.

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Point out to her that achievement seems to follow those who start early and work late.

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When it come to parties,there's no such thing as too much information. Call the parents and find out if they'll be present. If you suspect alchohol will be served, don't let her attend.

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Help her learn to be comfortable with silence.

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Next Post date: July 5, 2010
www.newseum.org

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June 7, 2010

Father To Son

By Harry Harrison, Jr.

click here to buy the book

Be around.

***

Be his father, not his friend. If you do't understand the difference, imagine his confusion when you must discipline him.

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Be a good husband. Show his mom respect at all times.

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Be home for dinner.

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Be his hero.

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Treasure your time with your son.

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Teach him to keep a secret.

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Ask him what he did today. Listen.

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Teach him how to dial 911 and when and why.

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Show him how to throw a punch. Then raise him to never start a fight. And teach him to walk away.

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Take him on hikes and show him how to ford a stream. Let him get wet and dirty.

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If his coach is a screamer, find another coach. If you're the coach, retire.

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Teach him to swim. If you dohn't know how, get him lessons.

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Don't forget that the point of sports when you are a kid is to have fun.

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Don't criticize his mistakes. Criticize his lack of effort.

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Check his homework nightly. Don't leave this totally up to his mom. He'll see how important his studying is to you.

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Make him carry his own athletic bag.

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Teach him that you dohn't have to spend a lot for a good haircut.

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Teach him that if he can't buy the best, buy the best value.

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Never be afraid to say, "We can't afford it."

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Teach him that if he wants something bad enough, that is reason to go to work.

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Teach him to believe as he gives to the world, so the world gives back to him.

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Show him how to meditate.

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Be sure to meet his girlfriends.

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Let your son know you're as confused about women as he is.

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A young boy loses things.A teen who loses things and then does without learns not to lose things.

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Be prepared for him to come home one day a complete agnositc.

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Teach him the difference between being lonely and being alone.

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Teach him that self-pity is a waste of time.

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Teach him to wash and fold his laundry.

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Show him your high school yearbook so that both of you know how goofy you once looked.

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Teach him that he can learn as much from failure as he can from success.

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Teach him how to barbeque a steak. This is a rite of passage.

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Teach him tolerance.

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Make sure his friends know that alcohol and drugs are not welcome in your house.

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Teach him to be on time and to call if he's going to be late. Always.

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Don't dismiss any dream of his as too big.

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Encourage him to participate in some kind of community service. This is where giving back begins.

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Teach him how to look someone in the eye and to shake hands firmly.

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Let him face the consequences of his own actions. They are the best teachers.

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Do push ups together.

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Teach him that the world will judge him by his actions, not his intentions.

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Show him how to read a map.

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Pray together as a family, then teach him to pray on his own.

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Show him how to tie a tie and how to polish his shoes.

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Remember, he's watching how you treat your dad.

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