09-2021 Add this to the list

Add spoonerism to the list of tools which help enhance the
value of your English language

  1. Spoonerism (this one, see below for more details)
  2. Oxymoron
  3. anagram

Wikipedia defines “spoonerism” as :

an error in speech (aka play of words) in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase. These are named after the Oxford don and ordained minister William Archibald Spooner, who reputedly did this.

Here are some examples found in wikipedia:

  • “Three cheers for our queer old dean!” (rather than “dear old queen,” which is a reference to Queen Victoria)
  • “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (as opposed to “customary to kiss”)
  • “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” (instead of “a loving shepherd”)
  • “A blushing crow.” (“crushing blow”)
  • “A well-boiled icicle” (“well-oiled bicycle”)
  • “You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle.” (“lighting a fire”)
  • “Is the bean dizzy?” (“Dean busy”)
  • “Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet.” (“Someone is occupying my pew. Please show me to another seat.”)
  • “You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain.” (“You have missed all my history lectures. You have wasted a whole term. Please leave Oxford on the next down train.”)

Do not miss the other interesting examples given in the above wikipedia page :flutter by (butter fly), Resident Pagan” (President Reagan) , US’s periodic practice of “Licking their Peaders” (Picking their leaders), NSA “poopin’ on Snutin” (Snoopin’ on Putin) and “phugging everybody’s bones” (bugging everybody’s phones).

40-2019 Anagrams

An “anagram” is a “figure of speech” used by highly literate authors. It is a word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain. It usually adds a comic flavour to the text where it is used.

I discovered these interesting anagrams on a “lazy Sunday” :

“Madam Curie” = “Radium came”
“funeral” = “real fun”
“teach” = “cheat”
“adultery” = “true lady”
“customers” = “store scum”
“rail safety” = “fairy tales”
“listen” = “silent”

And the best anagram Prize goes to:

“mathematical games” = “metamagical themas”

“Mathematical Games” by Martin Gardner”

“Metamagical Themas” by Douglas Hofstadter

In case you did not know, both of these are famous contributions to recreational mathematics, by two famous mathematicians.

See also: oxymorons