Wednesday, July 09, 2008

mondegreen

What is mondegreen?
Mondegreen is the word to know...

Merriam Webster has added 100 new words to the most recent update of their collegiate dictionary. The new words are associated with technology, food and science, among other things.

Here are some of the new words:

Webinar (1998): live, online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.

netroots (2003): grassroots political activists who communicate via the Internet, especially by blogs

Pescatarian (1993): vegetarian whose diet includes fish

A mondegreen most often comes from misunderstood phrases or lyrics. Mondegreen is defined as a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung, according to the update.

Mondegreen was first coined by author Sylvia Wright in 1954 in Atlantic magazine, when she confessed to a childhood misinterpretation of the Scottish ballad "The Bonny Earl of Moray." When she first heard the lyric "they had slain the Earl of Moray and had laid him on the green," she felt terribly sorry for the "poor Lady Mondegreen."


Do you have a favorite mondegreen? Mine is from childhood, before I could read the hymnal at church. One of my favorite songs was "Bringing in the Sheaves." But my version was "bringing in the sheep."

Mirriam-Webster is asking the public to submit their own favorite mondegreen on their website by July 25th. The editors' favorite will be revealed starting the week of July 28.

Click here to see more new words

Click here to submit your own mondegreen.

Feel free to clue me in on your favorite mondegreen in a comment.

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