Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov 16th: Family Circus – Mispronunciation & Malapropism

Hello everyone!

Today’s comic is a Family Circus featuring the topics of pronunciation and mix ups. 


“Mommy says I can’t go to kinnergarten till I go to pretty school.” – Jeffy speaking to Dolly

What is wrong with this sentence?

Jeffy has made two mistakes.  He has mispronounced one word and mixed up another one.


Jeffy mispronounced the word “kindergarten”.  Jeffy said “kinnergarten”. 

Correct kindergarten

Incorrect - kinnergarten

Jeffy switched the “d” sound with a “n” sound.

The word Kindergarten is not English; it is German.  In German, the word kinder means “child” and “garten” means garden.  The word “kindergarten” literally means “children’s garden”. 

Kindergarten is an example of a common word in English that is not English at all.   

Kindergarten, known as reception in the United Kingdom, is an early childhood education level for those usually aged 3 to 6 depending on the country.

Malapropism – Mixing up two similarly sounding words

Jeffy mixed up with the word “pretty school” with the word “preschool” because they sound similar.  Pretty school does not actually exist.  Pretty school is both an example of mispronunciation, he did not say it properly, and also a malapropism because he mixed up two similar sounding words. 

To learn more about malapropisms, click here.

Preschool is one age group or level below kindergarten in early childhood education.  Another word for preschool in some areas is nursery and in some places nursery comes before preschool.  The word preschool can also be used to describe all of early childhood education which generally covers aged 2 to 6.

What did Jeffy mean to say to Dolly if he did not mix up his pronunciation and words?

“Mommy says I can’t go to kindergarten till I go to preschool.” – Jeffy speaking to Dolly

And without contractions (shortening words for informal use) Jeffy would have said to Dolly,

“Mommy says I cannot go to kindergarten until I go to preschool.”

This means that Jeffy must finish one level of education, preschool, before he can go to the next level, kindergarten. 

Today’s images are from here, here, here, here, and here.

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