Whilst listening to a radio interview of opposing views on the EU Welfare debate that currently rages around us; doubt came to mind. I hadn’t read any of this news in the printed/online media – relying instead on the spoken word from various broadcasters.
The (seemingly) anti-EU welfare interviewee used a somewhat metaphorical analogy to give voice to his opposition; stating that ‘an Emergency Brake was only something that is used when other systems have failed and disaster is imminent’.
Hang on just a cotton-picking moment young fellow-me-lad! I thought we were discussing the virtues of a break…not a brake…? One word representing a brief pause; the other a means of stopping a moving vehicle…? It transpires that we are in fact discussing an Emergency BRAKE – but leaving aside the lexicographical debates on which is the more accurate noun, I thought I might offer titillation with some (made up) examples of well-known heterographs and malapropisms (or maybe mis-rememebered events for the Clintons amongst us):
- The Treaty of Roam (where ramblers won the right to stray onto farmers’ fields?);
- The Thirty Ears Peace (when the hard-of-hearing Spartans shook hands with the Athenians?)
- Battle of the Sum (schoolchildren agonising over algebra?);
- Piece of Prague (the best bit?);
- Can’t stand gravy (well known k.d.lang song?);
- Camp David accord (when the effeminate David finally agreed?);
- Boston T Party (a famous gathering of US golfers?);
- Prints Charming (it really does, you know);
- Little Boy Blew (did he really?);
- The Lightning Cedes (well, all great rock bands stop playing at some point);
- The Annual Duck Chute (that slide for birds we all get out once a year);
What can you come up with? Have a go in the comments section below.
Only this morning I read on Facebook about somebody who was looking forward to some rest-bite from the rain. I think they meant respite!
That’s brilliant (and yet cringing, too). Thanks, Helen – we could all do with some rest-bite, mind you!