common errors in English improve your English Learn English

Long live Mrs Malaprop

I’ve just made up a cool game for myself! Mrs Malaprop was a character in the 1775 play, The Rivals, by Sheridan and her propensity for using incorrect words in her sentences provided much of the play’s humour. Malapropisms, as opposed to the similar but different eggcorns, are where the substituted word almost makes sense but not quite, for instance, ‘O! He will dissolve my mystery!’. The correct word is resolve but actually, dissolve works almost as well. Malapropisms are pretty funny, but also quite tricky to make up because you need a large vocabulary and have to pick a word that not only sounds similar but might have a similar meaning to the correct word – and yet is hilariously wrong. Here are my attempts:

It is not a joke, I am deafly serious!
He gave little inclination as to his true declensions.
I have a strong body but depression is my bleakness.

Hmm – this is hard, but fun. See if you can guess which words should have been used in the above sentences and then, if you are feeling really grave – have a go yourself!

Email this Post Email this Post

About the author


Beth Penfold

Leave a Comment