Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 25: Spoonerisms

Spoonerisms are fun, and you should enjoy them as much as I do. Spoonerisms occur (as defined by Urban Dictionary) when the initial letters or first consonant sounds of two words or syllables are exchanged to form a new word or phrase. For example: “Free choosely” instead of “Choose freely.” Or: “Day prayly” instead of “Pray daily.” Spoonerisms actually occur quite frequently, especially when people are speaking quickly or are nervous or distracted. In fact, you have probably been guilty of such a thing on more than one occasion whether you have been aware of it or not. The greatest thing is when people commit a spoonerism and don’t even realize it and instead continue on talking as if what just came out of their mouth made serfect pense. After all, as far as that person is concerned, nothing incorrect occurred. The brain knows what it is saying even if the words come out of the mouth wrong and the ears don’t catch it. Some spoonerisms can be quite embarrassing, such as this popular one: “Three cheers for our queer old dean” rather than “Three cheers for our dear old queen.” Sometimes a spoonerism can be intentional just to get a laugh or to appear creative or original. Regardless, spoonerisms are quite entertaining, and once you become aware of them, you are likely to start noticing them continually. Hopefully, like me, you'll have a good smile or laugh whenever you come across these simple (and occasionally embarrassing) semantic misplacements.

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