A little late this week, but here it is.
I’ve got another book just for fun, the highly amusing Herrings Go About the Sea in Shawls, a reissue of the 1931 publication, Boners, first in a series of collections of malapropisms, strategic misspellings, and hilarious literary and historical disconnects taken from American classrooms. The selections range from wild and desperate attempts to divine meaning from the unfamiliar, to classic errors that reveal truths quite by accident. The book is conveniently arranged in broad categories – Definitions, Literature and the Arts, Geography, etc. – and is illustrated with line drawings by Dr. Seuss. Herewith, a sample.
A compliment is when you say something to another which he and we know is not true.There is also a brief section on translations:
A deacon is a mass of inflammable material placed in a prominent position to warn the people.
The Romans made their roads straight so that the Britons should not hide around the corners.
The Bible is against bigamy when it says that no man can serve two masters.
The Papal Bull was a mad bull kept by the Pope in the Inquisition to trample on Protestants.
Ave Domine.I was fortunate to find a first edition of the 1932 entry in the series, Prize Boners, from which I’ll just jot down three of my favorite items:
Lord, I am a bird.
Pax in bello.
Freedom from indigestion.
Le peuple ému répondit.
The purple emu laid another egg.
Since pro means the opposite of con, can you give me an illustration?For those who love language, including its occasional abuse, this book will definitely make you smile.
Progress and Congress
A gelding is a stallion who had his tonsils taken out so he would have more time to himself.
Some men went to Jesus with a penny and he asked them “Whose subscription is this?”