Learning a language, especially English, isn’t easy. There are mountains of vocabulary to memorize, convoluted grammatical constructs to learn, and whole hosts of bizarre phrases to decode. Every so often, even native speakers slip up with or modify the language, and oftentimes those slip-ups and modifications are hilarious. So, in honor of just how hard English can be, and to poke a little fun at my family (including myself), here are some moments in which we fell short with or decided to change the English Language.
1. "Get Over Your High Horse"- A few days ago my brother started to tell my mom to get over herself, but halfway through decided he had actually wanted to tell her to get off of her high horse. Cue the hilarious images of my mom swan-diving over a racehorse.
2. "Sculpy"- According to my mom, this is the adjective version of sculpted.
3. "Babing Suit"- The “th” sound is a pretty hard one to master, so as small children my younger brother and I replaced it with a "b" sound when saying bathing suit. This mess-up is particularly wonderful because it actually describes just what either of us was back then: a babe-in-suit.
4. "Inspectigate"- I don’t know if this was a mistake by my brother and me, or if we simply mashed investigate and inspect together to make inspectigate because we liked the product better than either of its components. Either way, I can’t help but wish this word were in the dictionary.
5. "Top Big"- There isn’t necessarily anything grammatically incorrect with saying "top big," but it’s on the list because this is the phrase my brother resorted to when he forgot the word “tall.” He was in high school at the time.
6. "Suitcake"- Apparently, this was more a conscious choice than an error. Harry and I could say the word suitcase as children, but just decided we would rather say "suitcake." Our love for cake remains strong to this day.
7. "Hibiscuit"- Either my brother and I simply weren’t able to say Hibiscus as children, or we just thought the flower would be so much better if it were made out of biscuit. Considering how much we love food, my money is on the latter.
8. "Deposition"- My brother and I both messed this word up at dinner a few days ago: he thought it was your final project as a PhD student (a dissertation), while I thought it was a fancy way to describe something that happens in a bathroom stall (a defecation). Needless to say, the mental image I conjured up when Harry mentioned a teammate defending her deposition was absolutely hilarious.
9. "Golden Snacks"- My dad works for Goldman Sachs, a company name that my brother couldn’t quite pronounce for the first few years of his life. Instead, he went with Golden Snacks, which honestly sounds like a pretty awesome place to work.
10. "Mood Lightning"- This is my absolute favorite phrase on the list, and not just because my dad used it instead of mood lighting until a few months ago. It’s my favorite because I can actually imagine mood lightning, the kind of lighting that flashes outside your window and makes the thunder roll over your room while you’re curled up inside with a good book… now that’s a good feeling.
If your family has any moments of English Language hilarity, feel free to share them in the comments!
With excitement and optimism,