We've all taken a common phrase or word and mutilated it at some point.
You know, the simple things that we process strangely and come up with
our own meaning. Here are some I've come across. A few include my theories
of why people said them that way.
The error is first, and the correct version follows, underlined.
It donged on me. It dawned on me.
The funny thing about this was that it was a former neighbor of mine
whose name was Dawn. Putting aside the fact that she wasn't the brightest
beam shining through the window, I think she hit on something here. I
mean, when something dawns on us, isn't it often like a "DONG!" on the
Soak and wet soaking wet
Someone on one of my email lists. I think (s)he hears people say,
"Soakin' wet", and (s)he doesn't catch that it's simply typical,
doggity dog world
doggy dog world dog eat dog world
Each one from a different friend. Two smart women who, I think,
realized that, no matter how you cut it, this is a silly phrase.
pillows pillars, as in the columns or pillars on a building
I'm sorry to say that every person I've heard use this term is somewhat
intellectually challenged. I'm sure there is a perfectly brilliant
person out there SOMEWHERE who uses this term, but I haven't found him.
THEORY: You're familiar with people saying something like,
"Boy, if I had me a piller fer my head now, I'd take me a nap." Our
feather pillows are reduced to "pillers" when someone has a thick country
accent. The people I've heard use this term are very conscious about how
they present themselves, and they think everyone saying "pillar" is really
saying "pillow" with a hick accent. I've tested this theory, and it seems
quite accurate. The funniest part of this is that everyone I've heard
use "pillow" instead of "pillar" has a deep Southern drawl!!
splitting image spitting image
My husband came up with this one. He still maintains that it makes more
sense than spitting image. My stepfather joked, "Yeah, and what about spitting
hairs?" Well, my cat does.
in portant important
No theory here beyond "DUH."
So common in the South, especially in the New Orleans area.
Laziness, plain and simple.
Well, I think any of us can see the goofers' logic in this one. But,
tell me, do these people never read?
Again, you can see the logic. When we're suffocating, we're also
smothering. But, oh, what a butchering of the language! Perfectly nice
person but not the next Whitman.
Poor education and lack of reading!!
trip the life fantastic trip the light fantastic
Sorry, Charlie! But, boy, oh, boy, did you make us laugh! We still
love you. (By the way, he's a very smart guy and well-educated. Come
to think of it, though, he doesn't read much...)
mixwords mince words
Obviously someone who doesn't spend much time cooking! If you cook,
mincing words makes a lot of sense! But a very smart man nonetheless.