[Ads-l] eggcorns? or just malaprops?

James Landau 00000c13e57d49b8-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Mon Feb 8 12:02:55 EST 2021


>From Rabbi Bob Alper's mailing list

James Landau
jjjrlandau at netscape.com

[At] times the humor in a funeral home has been more internal and private, when I’ve heard words that had me guffawing under an appropriately serious outer expression.  Like the time a close friend of the deceased was asked to speak in tribute.  I introduced him, then sat just off to the side of the pulpit.  The man walked slowly up the three stairs, opened a sheaf of notes and placed them on the lectern, and solemnly began, “We have gathered together to utilize Phil…”
Rabbis are not immune from fumbling a word or two. Especially when reciting verses that have become, perhaps, too familiar. On this occasion I was sitting in the pew while a colleague officiated.  I quietly decided that the fellow had spent just a little too much time in Philadelphia when I heard him recite these words while reading the Twenty-third Psalm: “Yo though I walk…er…yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
But my self-control met its most formidable challenge not in a funeral home but of all places, in a supermarket.  This was a trying moment. I was in the midst of pondering that critical choice, smooth or crunchy peanut butter, when an earnest looking gentleman passed by, then deftly turned his shopping cart 180 degrees and rolled up to mine, head-to-head.
“You’re Rabbi Alper, aren’t you?” he said, and continued, “I’m not a member of a synagogue, but I wonder if you could help me with a small problem.”  I nodded in the affirmative. And here was where my ability to keep a straight face should have won me an Oscar. “You see, Rabbi, my brother died last week, and I want to say Kaddish for him.  So, Rabbi, could you do me a favor, and write it out for me fanatically?” 

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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