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MONDEGREEN

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MONDEGREEN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:50 pm

• mondegreen •


Pronunciation: mahn-dê-green • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: The reanalysis of a phrase so that it means something other than what was intended or sounds different from what was intended. A slip of the ear, a mishearing that is repeated.

Notes: My favorite mondegreen reportedly came from a child who, returning home from Sunday school, announced that she had learned a song about some cross-eyed bear named Gladly. It turns out that she had learned the hymn "Keep Thou My Way" by Fanny Crosby, which contains the line "(Kept by Thy tender care) Gladly the cross I'd bear". I still hear the jingle, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream," with the reanalysis of I scream into ice cream. Another popular one mentioned often on the Web is the switch of "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" to "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" in the Jimi Hendrix song Purple Haze.

In Play: Many people think that mondegreens are limited to songs but kids and adults make mondegreens all the time in ordinary speech. Some mondegreens even result in new words. Orange arose by this process from the original phrase 'a narange', based on Arabic narange. Apron was originally a napron, the mother of napkin "small apron". Auger is the result of a reanalysis of the phrase of a nauger as an auger.

Word History: The word itself must be credited to US writer Sylvia Wright, who coined it for her essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen", published in Harper's Magazine November 1954. "When I was a child," Sylvia wrote, "[o]ne of my favorite poems began, as I remember:
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl Amurray,
And Lady Mondegreen

Sylvia understood why the poor Earl of Murray was slain but for years she could not understand why they had also slain Lady Mondegreen. When Sylvia finally analyzed the phrase properly, as "And laid him on the green", she dubbed the result of her reanalysis a mondegreen. It stuck.
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Postby Perry » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:22 pm

I love mondgreens, especially those of children. My youngest had a lot of these. Here are two:

"There is one fish in the lotion that's a bad guy" [referring to Finding Nemo]
"You're wriggling my life" [For you're ruining my life.]
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Bailey » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:03 pm

The assignment the Sunday School teacher gave them was to draw a picture of their favorite Christmas Carole, Johnny drew and and colored and by the end of class had a masterpiece, he showed it to the teacher who gushed over it saying, "I see, this is great, there is Mary and Jesus, and Joseph and the three wise men, but who is the fat guy over here?"
"That's round Yon Virgin." Johnny replied proudly.

mB

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Postby gailr » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:02 pm

Get dressed ye married gentlemen
let nothing you dismay.
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Postby sluggo » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:15 pm

Just here those lay bells jingle
in Rin-Tin-Tingle in two...

Good King wants his last look down
on his feets uneven

Sorry Walt -- Wet child is this?
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:31 am

Bailey wrote:The assignment the Sunday School teacher gave them was to draw a picture of their favorite Christmas Carole, ... "That's round yon virgin." Johnny replied proudly.

mB


On a later assignment about the Flight into Egypt, the same child drew a picture of an airplane with four people in it. "Who's that in the airplane?" the teacher asked. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," came the reply. "Who's that up front?" the teacher asked. "Oh, that's Punchus the pilot."
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:34 am

gailr wrote:Get dressed ye married gentlemen
let nothing you dismay.


One of my favorite cartoons from Playboy Magazine many years ago was one of a guy stepping into a dress while singing "Don we now our gay apparel!"

Oy, veh!
Regards//Larry

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Postby gailr » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:51 am

Stargzer wrote:One of my favorite cartoons from Playboy Magazine many years ago was one of a guy stepping into a dress while singing "Don we now our gay apparel!"

I...mmm...missed that one. But I did see Klibans' "Freud's First Slip".


sluggo wrote:Good King wants his last look down
on his feets uneven

Good King Wenceslaus ordered a pizza for the Feast of Stephen. "It'll be there in 20 minutes, your majesty," the clerk told him. "Do you want your usual: deep and crisp and even?"
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Postby sluggo » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:30 pm

gailr wrote:Good King Wenceslaus ordered a pizza for the Feast of Stephen. "It'll be there in 20 minutes, your majesty," the clerk told him. "Do you want your usual: deep and crisp and even?"

:D :wink:

Schlep de halls mit loaves of challah...
-blatantly stollen from the Three Weissmen

I can't get confirmation, but this Friday 12/21 according to pattern should be the annual 'Twisted Christmas' special on WWOZ, somewheres between 7pm and midnight, Central. Don't miss it if you can. If it's there. If it works.
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Postby gailr » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:00 pm

sluggo wrote:Schlep de halls mit loaves of challah...
-blatantly stollen from the Three Weissmen


Chipmunks roasting on an open fire...

That would be Halvah and the Chipmunks.
Traditionally served with a rugula.
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Postby melissa » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:24 am

So what do you call a mishearing of actual words, as in Handel's verbatim 'We like sheep'? Not a mondegreen, but a misunderstanding I hope.
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Kids and Mondegreens

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:25 am

My favorite occurred when my son returned from nursery school ages ago and asked me what kind of juice Jesus drank. I replied that Jesus drank wine, which is made from grapes, if that is what he meant.
He replied, "Jesus didn't drink wine. I know he drank juice; I just want to know what kind of juice he drank because I want to drink that juice."
"Why do you think he drank juice?" I queried.
His response: "Because he was the KING of the juice. I just want to know what was his favorite."

The logic beneath this mondegreen was enough to make his father, the professor, very proud. My son to this day continues to seek ways of determining the top quality of things.
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Postby gailr » Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:09 pm

Up on the rooftop, reindeer pause...

With Anne's jelly toast proclaim...
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Re: Kids and Mondegreens

Postby Bailey » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:28 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:My favorite occurred when my son returned from nursery school ages ago and asked me what kind of juice Jesus drank. I replied that Jesus drank wine, which is made from grapes, if that is what he meant.
He replied, "Jesus didn't drink wine. I know he drank juice; I just want to know what kind of juice he drank because I want to drink that juice."
"Why do you think he drank juice?" I queried.
His response: "Because he was the KING of the juice. I just want to know what was his favorite."

The logic beneath this mondegreen was enough to make his father, the professor, very proud. My son to this day continues to seek ways of determining the top quality of things.


Thank you for teaching your son to seek excellence.

mB.

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Postby skinem » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:03 pm

(Yeah, I know it's an old post--I was gone!)

"There's a bathroom on the right" (Bad Moon Rising)
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