Malapropism? Or mispronunciation? And does it matter which if it’s funny?

When I was little I had a tendency, if I read a word I’d never heard spoken, to assume it sounded like something I had heard. Consequently there were quite a lot of words that I mangled half to death the first time I said them out loud. 

I can remember being quietly mortified a lot of time when everyone burst out laughing at something that I thought was quite serious (or at least not funny) until someone got a hold of themselves for long enough to tell me what hysterical mistake I’d made.

I can’t remember most of the words now, having learnt the correct way to say them long ago, but there is one that seems to be indelibly stuck in my memory.

The word is antimacassar.

I pronounced it – and still do, in my head – anti-massacre.

If only ornamental chair covers could stop the outright slaughter of innocents!

Every time I think about it, apart from getting the giggles, an image presents itself in my head:

I see a group of elderly women standing firm as a hoard of fur clad, battle axe wielding, Vikings advances toward them. As soon at these ferocious men are close enough for the women to see properly (so about a metre away) they reach into their handbags and, all at the same time, produce white crocheted circles and wave them at their attackers. Who immediately drop their axes, shield their eyes and fall to their knees, pleading for mercy.

I suspect this says things about how my mind works that none of you wished to be a party to.

And I’m not sure why I felt the need to share this with everyone. Other than that it is something which can usually cheer me up, even on the darkest of days.

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