"I may not know how to fly but I know how to read and that's almost the same thing."-- Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

"...while finding true love was one of the most splendid things that could happen to you in life, finding a friend was equally splendid." -- Felix J Palma, The Map of the Sky

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M = Malapropism

* What is it?

Malapropism, is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound. It is a form of wordplay.

* Why is it used?

Malapropism, can be used for a few reasons.

One reason is just because it's funny. A character saying a word with confidence, when the audience knows it is the wrong word, can be comical.

Another reason is to show a character's state of mind; stress, confusion, or in Jack Sparrow's case, drunkenness. The character is flustered, knows the word he wants to say, but says the wrong one instead.

A third reason, is use by accident or ignorance. The speaker simply doesn't know he or she is using a word incorrectly. The word they use sounds similar to the one they want to use. They know the definition of the word they want to use, but they don't know the word that matches that definition.

The third example of malapropism is especially hilarious, when used by real life politicians!

Got any favorite examples of malapropism?


  1. That is the best gif example of a word ever!

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  2. There is definitely humor in using a Malapropism. Sometimes I do it on purpose because they can be pretty darn funny.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

    1. I don't think l've ever used it in a story, but I know I've used it by accident when speaking!

  3. Such a fun choice of word! Malapropisms can be hilarious when done deliberately. Not so funny when it's a real person who doesn't realize the mistake, of course :)

    1. I've seen both in stories, and when written wrong on purpose its funny, but I've read some really bad indie novels where the author clearly hadn't a clue the word he used was wrong...smh. sometimes it pays to buy a dictionary.

  4. Malapropisms can be pretty funny - I haven't actually used it as a device in my writing yet.
    That gif is cool, I love Jack Sparrow, he's such a hilarious character!!

    1. Jack Sparrow is awesome, every other sentence out of his mouth is a play on words...


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