‘Malaforms’ – pronunciation through the mangle

kaiser-about“You won’t find the word ‘malaforms’ in the dictionary, but it most certainly ought to be there.” – explains Scott Kaiser, the Director of Company Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

“What do I mean by a malaform? A malaform is the unintended creation of a new word by a speaker who has mangled the pronunciation of a perfectly good existing word.”

He not only coined the word, but also provides an explanation of how they are distinguished from malaprops (or malapropisms).

“[…] where a malaprop is the imperfect use of perfectly good words, a malaform is the mangling of perfectly good words into imperfect ones.”

A quasi-contemporary example is provided:

George W. Bush: ‘They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander-in-chief, too.’
(He means underestimated)

See Mr. Kaiser’s essay on the subject of malafroms in: Voice and Speech Review, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2007, Rebusing the Fartuous Word: Malaforms and Malaprops in Shakespeare

 

 






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

code


Please note that to avoid comment spam, no e-mail addresses or web links are allowed in the message! If you include one, the message will be auto-deleted