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Saturday, January 11

Malapropism

[MAL-əprop-iz-əm]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: English, 18th century

1.

The practice of unintentionally using the wrong word or phrase, usually to humorous effect

2.

The act of using a malaprop

Examples of Malapropism in a sentence

"English-language learners are likely to use some comical malapropisms as they practice their skills. "

"After bungling her introduction with a malapropism she was too embarrassed to go on with the speech."

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About Malapropism

The word malapropism comes from an English play, but playwright Richard Sheridan likely got his inspiration from the French, “mal à propos,” meaning inappropriate. The noun can refer to the linguistic tic in general, or a specific instance of malapropism.

Did you Know?

This linguistic blunder comes from the 18th-century play “The Rivals.” In it, the character Mrs. Malaprop is known for unintentionally using the wrong words in hilarious contexts. For example, exclaiming, "He is the very pine-apple (pinnacle) of politeness!”

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