The 1775 Restoration comedy, The Rivals, by Richard Sheridan introduced the humorous character, Mrs. Malaprop. Her name comes from the French mal à propos, which means inappropriate. A malapropism is defined as an absurd or humorous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound.
Mrs. Malaprop had nothing on my old buddy Ron. Many years ago Ron and I worked for the same company. Ron was an enthusiastic if slightly grammar-challenged salesman. Just like the kids in the Art Linkletter show, he would say the darndest things. Here are some samples.
At a sales review meeting, Ron was describing the recent flare up at one account and stated “that’s when the shit hit the fur.” Ron tried to explain that this saying was an old hunting term. I guess the hunters substituted fur for fans.
We were given a class on investments. A company representative came around to explain stock options and how the options vested. To which Ron asked “What’s the vestation period?” Best answer? Somewhere between ovulation and the maturity date.
One time he told a customer that “the only thing you’ve changed is two things.”
Another time he told a customer that he had “beaten a dead horse to death.”
Living between ages – after The Stone Age but before The Digital Age – I wrote these sayings down in longhand and tacked the page of sayings on the wall of my office. Ron came into my office one day, looked at the list and claimed that he did not say these things. I told him that it was not possible to make them up.
Regrettably, I lost the list long ago and rely upon my (most faulty) memory for the few that remain. However, I’m sure you have a friend or relative like my old buddy Ron who is filled with strange sayings. I would be curious to hear what they have said.