Sunday, February 15, 2009

...And Laid Him on the Green

Talking about his farewell party, my son said that his teacher had sung, 'This little shining light of mine, Angle let it shine...'This reminded me that as a little child one of my favourite rhymes was ' Mary Mary koikondery, how does your garden grow?' and my favourite game was 'Ice Boys'. Only years later did I figure out that they were 'Mary, quite contrary' and 'I Spy'. likewise SJ once insisted that his biology teacher taught him about 'edges and shells'. As it turned out the teacher was referring to 'adjacent cells'. Of course everybody has heard the one about a child who shocked his father when he repeated his Math lesson, "2+2, son of a bitch, is 4." It appears that the real words were '2+2, sum of which is 4'! The strangest of all such erronous utterances is my father's. He used to sing us the prayer he chanted as a schoolboy. And it went: Krishna kambi kumbae tudala tudala tudala, timrutha tommy prepae... It was not a strange language - it is English. When decoded it goes: Krishna can be compared to the lord to the lord to the lord. And the rest (timrutha Tommy prepae) still remains a mystery.

I found later that such misunderstood utterances actually have a name; they are called mondegeens . You will find more instances here

I also learned that mondegreens shouldn't be confused with soramimi which is what Benilava is.

12 comments:

Diviya said...

I nearly split my sides laughing! And scared the people around me!!

AtomicGitten said...

I can see the English Exhibition has made it's impression. I'm reminded of that poem we had to learn- it had a line which, for a long time i thought went "...what is violet? The toilet is violet."

As it turned out it was "twilight" not toilet. :D

Materialmom said...

Diviya
I'm surprised that you laughed. I'd imagined you as a serious, angry young woman. :)
Im waiting for your review of The White Tiger- would love to know what you thought about it.

Atomica
Aah the exhibition didnt include mondegreens, tho we did have Janus words,neologisms and so on.
Twilight- toilet: how could I forget!

Anush said...

people within earshot of u are the luckiest...

Materialmom said...

Anush
I know you are right:)
But I doubt that my family would agree, me being the human alarm clock that wakes them from slumber :(
As for getting my lyrics mixed up, I don't sing anymore.

Anush said...

singing? whoever said anything about singing? anyway, maybe am not getting u...

but if YOU dint get ME, what i meant was: u can make ppl laugh. And thats why they are lucky to be within earshot... :)

Johnson said...

That was hilarious.
I had to do a project on mondegreens in 9th. Still makes me smile.

Materialmom said...

Anush
Oooh NOW I get you. I am a tubelight.
I'll see that the ppl concerned read that and notice the good fortune :)

Johnson
James, I presume..
Gr8 to see you here. But you haven't written any post. I suppose you will correct that after the exams. so how were phy and chem? NEXT IS ENG - GO STUDY

Johnson said...

Yes, James

And yes, will post after exmas.
Amazing blog you've got going. Odd I never found a link to here from Sreejiths.

Materialmom said...

Thanx. :)

Your brother, Kevin, features in one of the posts.

All the best for your eng and other exams.
Your former classmates- Anand, Medulin, Geo, Rohan, Ajmal, Neeraj and of course SJ are all here wth me right now and they all are saying a big HI to you.:)

Johnson said...

I read the one with Kevin. Cheeky little fellow hes turned out to be.

A 'HI' back to everyone too. That made my day

anusha said...

hahaha!!!! u r hilarious !!! my lil'sis does it 2.... n as her exams r going on rt now.... she does this ... ohh so often !!! :D