Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 06:19:05 -0400

From: Suzanne Cadwell scadwell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EMAIL.UNC.EDU

Subject: Re: Mondegreens

Although Jon Carroll popularized the term "mondegreen" in his 6+ columns

compiling them

(late eighties, early nineties, I think) in the San Francisco Chronicle,

he did not coin it. Sylvia Wright coined the term in a November 1954

essay in Harper's, "The Death of Lady Mondegreen." This amusing bit of

childhood recollection involves several mishearings of Wright's, the

eponymous one being from the refrain of the ballad "The Earl of Murray."

To Wright's childish ears "They killed the Earl of Murray/ And laid him on

the green," became "They killed the Earl Amurray/ and Lady Mondegreen."

Carroll credits Wright in one of his columns, but gives the wrong journal

and only the decade of publication. I used the Reader's Guide to locate

the original source.

Suzanne Cadwell

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of English

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill