Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malapropism Strikes Again

Yes, the English language is complicated.  I see my students struggle every day to conquer the twists, turns and peculiarities inherent in the language.  They work hard, but sometimes the results are inadvertently funny to listen to.  I try hard not to laugh but to model correct usage/pronunciation instead.  

Here is an example of an inadvertent malapropism from one of my students.  It was shared with me last week by my neighbor, Mrs. Cheerleader.  She and I share a student, Taxi Boy.  Taxi Boy LOVES to talk and talk and talk.  Mrs. Cheerleader had Taxi Boy and a girl, Quiet Mouse, in a reading group.  They read a non-fiction book about eagles and were discussing the information found in the book.  The text in the book was about how eagles catch their prey with their sharp talons.  Next to the word "talons" was the word "claws" in parenthesis.  Mrs. Cheerleader asked Taxi Boy and Quiet Mouse what talons meant.  Quiet Mouse wouldn't respond, but after some thought, Taxi Boy piped up.

"Talons!  I 'America's Got Talons'!!!"   

Mrs. Cheerleader had the hardest time keeping a straight face as she explained the difference between "talons" and "talents"!  When she told me the story after school, she and I laughed so hard we nearly fell over.   

Yes, indeed...America's Got Talons!  

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