Malaprop Monday: Pledge of Allegiance

In continuance with last week’s patriotic theme, I though I would write about the Pledge of Allegiance. This might get messed up so much mainly because it has historically been recited by schoolchildren who don’t understand a lot of the big words contained in it.

Here is the correct text of the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I’ve heard lots of Pledge of Allegiance malapropisms. Some which come to mind are “for Richard stands” instead of “for which it stands,” “invisible” instead of “indivisible,” and “with livery and justice” instead of “with liberty and justice.”

What are some incorrect recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance that you’ve heard?

Malaprop Monday: Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

People frequently get confused about the names of holidays, especially ones they aren’t familiar with. For example, Labor Day is often confused with Memorial Day. This could be because these two American holidays are the bookends of summer, or because each one is a 3 day weekend for most American workers.

The backgrounds of and reasons for celebrating the two holidays, however, are very different. Memorial Day, originally named Decoration Day, was established sometime after the Civil War as a day to remember all the people who died in service to the United States (source). Labor day, on the other hand, came out of the labor movement (when workers organized and formed unions). Labor day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers – so laborers, union members, those in public service and essentially everyone else who holds a job in this country (source).

Malaprop Monday: Jive

People often confuse the word “jive” for the word “jibe.” Unless you’re referring to a type of dance popularized in the 1920s, you probably want to use “jibe.” Following are definitions of each word:

Jibe: (intransitive verb) 1. to shift suddenly and forcibly from one side to the other —used of a fore-and-aft sail

2. to change a vessel’s course when sailing with the wind so that as the stern passes through the eye of the wind the boom swings to the opposite side

Jive: (noun) 1. informal language that includes many slang terms

2. deceptive or foolish talk

3. a type of fast lively music that was especially popular in the early part of the 20th century; also : a dance performed to this type of music

Source: Merriam-Webster

Introducing: Malaprop Monday

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!