One of the newer words in Merriam-Webster is mondegreen.
mon·de·green noun \ˈmän-də-ˌgrēn\
Definition of MONDEGREEN
: a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung
Origin of MONDEGREEN
from the mishearing in a Scottish ballad of “laid him on the green” as “Lady Mondegreen”
First Known Use: 1954
Mondegreens can be rather fascinating. Many of us remember when our kids were little and struggled to make sense of what they heard from the adult world. For example, in 1967, when the Beatles sang about “Lucy in the sky with diamonds,” what they heard was “Lucy in the sky with Linus.” That was the only way it made sense to them. Another example cited by the Merriam-Webster editors is part of a lyric sung by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “There’s a bad moon on the rise,” which became “mondegreened” into “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
If you have an example of a mondegreen, I hope you’ll share it with us. They can be a lot of fun.
BULLETIN: I JUST POSTED MY THANKS POEM. LOOK FOR IT UNDER ADULT WORD OF THE MONTH POEMS. DAVID
I mentioned the other day that I plan to invite an occasional guest to appear on my blog. These brief articles (500 – 750 words or so) aren’t set up in a Q/A format. I’ll simply ask experts in various fields of interest to choose a subject and write about it. Our first guest is a New York agent, Wendy Schmalz. Wendy opened her own agency in 2002. Before that she was a principal at Harold Ober Associates. She represents a small, eclectic group of writers and I think you will find her opinions and advice most interesting. I’ve worked with Wendy on projects with Sandy Asher so I can tell you from personal experience that she is a good agent and a neat lady.
Read what Wendy has to say on Monday when I post her remarks.
On to other matters. One good teacher I know (Kim Jasper) suggests that my word for this month, thanks, is tougher to write about than our word last month (dirt). Another great teacher (Laynah Rogers) suggests a more emphatic word: gag.
So what do you think? Opinions please. We can stick with thanks and save gag for later or we can give our poets a choice between those two words for this month. I’m a little concerned that so far Steven Withrow is the only poet who has posted a poem. How is everybody else doing?