Monday, August 11, 2008

Lock the cashbox

One time, a long long time ago, when I was much less wise and mature than I am now (during my Utah trip last month); I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happened to have majored in English. During the conversation I used the phrase " In one fowl swoop". Then I paused. Then I asked "wait, is it fowl or foul, I've never known that". I mean it seemed obvious that it would be fowl, because fowls swoop, it's what they do. They're up there flying around and occassionally "swooping" down to pick up things (usually more than one thing at a time therefore the phrase " So I blah blahed and blah blahed all in one fowl swoop"). Makes sense. Then she replied "actually it is fell". "Fell?" "Yeah, one fell swoop". Well that makes as much sense as wearing a sweater in Texas during August, in my opinion. I don't even know what fell means. Neither does any one else I would venture.

Anyway, I know there are plenty of other things I say wrong, or spell wrong (you should have seen Blaine's face when I told him that "colonel" was pronounced "kernel", ouch). There was once even a debate held as to whether the Beach Boys song said "If every body had an ocean" or "If everybody and a notion". I won't say which side I was on for that. So, have you found out something you have said wrong or thought wrong or pronounced wrong, etc.?

9 comments:

Blaine said...

I will say this, that I would have liked the right to choose if I wanted people to know about the whole colonel thing. I will resist the temptation to spill one of yours that comes to mind that is more embarassing than "fell swoop" (although still probably not as embarassing as colonel...) :)

Anyway, bringing that up would only serve to make a moo point.

:) (I'm not a fan of Friends but I saw the clip once where Joey talked about a "moo point" and have always remembered it as a perfect example of this type of embarassing thing... :)

Gretchen said...

Ah, I love the "'kernel' with his wee beady eyes..."

My mom is like the queen of this kind of thing. I've inherited a few from her.

And don't feel too bad, I think it was only a couple years ago that I finally realized it was "fell" and not "foul."

Sheyenne said...

Well, I get teased all the time for pronouncing "bag" like "beg", but that's how everyone says it in Montana, and I didn't even know I was saying it any differently until I moved down here and said, "Weg-a-Beg" for "Wag-a-Bag" and the friend I was with bust a seam laughing at me. Is it "busted a seam?" Maybe that's one I do. I also got made fun of for saying "pop" instead of "soda" when I lived in Florida. I see stuff like this on Craigslist all the time though. Like when people advertise a "chester drawer" instead of a "chest of drawers", or they say "rod iron" instead of "wrought iron".

Earl and Vickie said...

Don't feel bad, the word fell in this case has gone out of use in English (except in Shakespeare). In modern English people often make the substitution that you did. See here. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-fel1.htm

Sarah said...

So how do you say cacauphony sp? do you say it like can or like cup (the first ca). Its this huge debate in my family.

Shauna said...

Fell swoop. hehe. That was a good one. :) I one time said to Mike, "I'm like a hawk, honing in on it's prey," instead of homing. Which apparently is hiLARious. Now Mike uses it against me all the time. I, to this day, have to stop and think about it before I use that phrase. I also have to stop and think (carefully) before I use prostrate and prostate interchangeably. So, even we English majors have our own issues. :)

Shauna said...

Oh, plus also, Mike has said that he wants to blog the broken nose story himself (something about wanting to get the story straight without all of my exaggerations, or something like that). So, if you don't see it in a day or two, drop a subtle hint in our comments, will ya? :)

Linds said...

I was singing along with a song once and my husband said, "what did you say?" after a certain line I had sung and he busted up laughing when I repeated it to him because apparently I had been singing it wrong all my life. I can't remember the name of the song but the first line is something like "I felt the rain down in Africa..." anyway... there's a line that I always sang "there's nothing that a hundred men on mars could ever do" and John informed me it's "there's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do." I don't know... a hundred men on mars sounded pretty impossible to me so it kind of made sense...

Aimee said...

I thought it was "fail swoop." I guess I learned something new today.

In high school I was on a date and I said, "There's the cathedral." (Pronounced cath-eh-drawl) Then I quickly corrected myself and said "ca-thee-drowl." How embarassing!