A malaprop is the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar one. In fact, the name of my blog is based on a malaprop!
Each Malaprop Monday, I’ll tell you about a malaprop, the correct phrase and its origin, as well as the meaning of the incorrect word so you can avoid misusing it in the same way.
For my first Malaprop Monday, I’ll start off with one I hear/see frequently: supposably/supposively instead of supposedly.
Neither of the two incorrect words is actually a word. However, they both sound similar enough to “supposedly” that if someone says one of them aloud, you might miss the mistake. I think this has something to do with why it’s so common – a person might say
“supposably” all the time and never be informed that they’re saying it wrong.
“Supposably” uses the ending “ably,” a form of the adjective “able.” This misuse suggests that something might be supposed; that one is “able” to suppose it. This is different from the meaning of “supposedly” – something that is supposed.
There’s your malaprop for the week. If you know of any malaprops you’d like to see me write about, let me know in the comments!