Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 15:56:47 -0700


Subject: student mondegreens/malapropisms; "fun"

On Sun, 8 Oct 1995, Merri Lisa Johnson wrote:

One of my students wrote this phrase in an essay: "a once and a lifetime


i quit writing down my students' bizarre expressions some time ago; i was

afraid they might grow into some monstrous _life reeked with joy II_

project and/or be perceived as mere dissing of gen-xers. but here is my

favorite essay-ending example from a few years ago:

In conclusion, Helga Crane's sensitivity towards her skin color was not

appeased no matter where she went; she felt very subconscious about

herself, and society worsened the situation by intensifying her

difference compared to them.

the same day, Natalie Maynor wrote:

I thought we were simply having fun. And occasionally, out of some of the

"fun" type discussion, somebody might discover something useful of course.

i agree. i think of ads-l as infotainment. in between "useful" posts,

i can reminisce about the goo-goo bars and eyes (not burners) of my

youth, note that the sign in the window across the street ("pre-fix

dinner, $24.95") is part of a larger trend, be astounded that there is a

guy in utah who doesn't (didn't) know what cunnilingus means, learn new

words for sidewalk, etc.

terry irons' comments remind me of the recent post on linguist-l (for

those of you who read more than the job listings: self-censorship;

cheating)--there do seem to be a lot of people who would rather post a

query than open a book. but i'm (so far) not bothered by such "lazy"

postings. i don't browse through DARE for fun, but i do have fun

thinking about what i know about pop/soda/tonic/col' drink/cocola while

following a thread. i would imagine that some of the postings i find

useful are fun for others, and vice versa.

sylvia swift