Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How's That Again?

Nope, still not feeling like tackling anything serious. So here's a selection from the malapropisms my father used to collect. We still add to his collection now that his memory has failed him, and the collection has grown to some 40 pages. I've chosen for you some that were nearly all said by our family and friends, pastors and teachers.

Dad, of course, is the sort who always categorized everything. I've put a letter in front of each saying to denote its category.


A = Absurdity
B = Belaboring the obvious
C = Confusing (ambiguous);
M = Missing Word or Misplaced modifier or verb
W = Wrong or Mixed Metaphor
S = Slip of the tongue
X = Can’t Classify

A The main thing to worry about is not to get tensed up. – GMU professor

A The shuttle service will operate Monday through Friday morning every half-hour on the hour beginning at 7:15 a.m. and ending at 8:15 p.m. – USAir office memo

A Message on answering machine: Don’t forget to check for recorded messages. –George Weber

A I had left by the time I wrote that message in the sand. – Mom

A We’re going to get her well if it kills her. –Dad

A "What’s Millie’s last name?" - "Millie who?" - Aunt Audrey and Uncle Bob

A Why don’t you find out when the five o’clock mass is? – Ruth Duffy

A You’re older than I am now, but that won’t last. – Anastasia

A Wildebeest always walk single-file; at least the one I saw did. –Clyde Friar

A It feels like it hurts, but it doesn’t. – Mom

A I have an acute case of the blahs. – the Rev. William Wells

B It’s better not to have been in love than never to have loved at all. – Anastasia

A March comes earlier this year. – Mom

A Try desperately to remain calm. – Dr. Ron Roth, GMU

W I’m losing sight of my hearing. – Tisho Holtby, my niece

A I want nothing but silence in this room, and very little of that! –Teacher

A This twin is more identical than that one.

A We may be identical twins, but there the difference ends. –Garrison Keillor

A I don’t want to wake up some morning dead. – Grandma Jones

A We were sitting on our hands, biting our fingernails! – John Barclay Burns

A He was dead before I ever met him. – Dallas Hunter

A She’s teaching me humility, and I’m making wonderful progress.

A Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named John. – Grandpa Hafford

A My favorite time of day is night. – Erin Kendall

A Children interfere with family life.

B It is far better to have a single friend than a hundred enemies. – Anastasia

B It is far better to have a hundred friends than one enemy. – Anastasia

A We lived on an uninhabited island in Hawaii, doing bird research. –Meg Creech, referring to Rabbit Island

A If you get killed by a bear, don’t come crying to me! – Mom, to Dad, protesting his plan to hike on the Appalachian Trail

X There’s nothing you don’t know that others don’t know, too. – Demetrios Theodoridis

A Our government could never make it in the private sector. – Anastasia

A If you get lost, just come back. – Mom

A It would take a lot of these [hamsters] to make a mink coat. – Demetrios Theodoridis

A A patient was yelling. After the injection, the yelling was inaudible. – Nurse’s report.

A A little pain never hurt anyone. – Dad

B Something imminent is about to happen. – John Barclay Burns

A For as long as you are here in this church, time and space do not exist. – Priest

A Anyone who has come from the depths to which I have risen has to be a miracle. – Marion Barry, D. C. Former Mayor

W …sticking your head out on a limb. – Tisho Holtby

W I’m going to hang up the towel. – Tisho Holtby

B I never had an accident of my own choosing. – Mom

A You and I make a great trio. – Jane Sargent

A What year was 1956? – Bob Hafford

A You need justice. Call the law firm of _____ and tip the scales of justice in your favor.

A I won’t go to your viewing if you don’t go to mine. – Annie Hunter

A The seconds go by faster on your microwave than on mine. – Mom

A I don’t know; I can’t think; I have to concentrate. – Mom

A The secret to having a good conversation with her is to let her do all the talking. – Anastasia

B History takes time. – Dr. Salman Kahn

A If only I didn’t have to use the leg that hurts, I could walk just fine! – Mom

B He was still alive, you know, during the last few years of his life. – Demetrios Theodoridis

A I’ve lived a lot longer than most people my age. – Daphne’s uncle