Spoonerisms, plus Victor Borge, and too much alphabetized logic for me

Delores E. Topliff

Spoonerisms are verbal errors in which speaker accidentally transpose the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, usually to humorous effect, as in the sentence accidentally saying you have hissed the mystery lectures, instead of, you have missed the history lectures, a simple tlip of the songue, or tons of soil for sons of toil, etc.

Any of us of a certain age who watched Danish-American comedian, conductor, and pianist, Victor Borge, loved the man called the “clown prince of Denmark” and the “comedian of the keyboard”. He achieved great popularity in radio and television in the U.S. and Europe after fleeing here from Denmark during WWII. He arrived with no money but soon gained a following through his music and humor. His trick of boosting numbers up a notch to make our ears hear the unexpected was wonderful. He “tiptoed through the threelips” to earn a fivetune. In other examples, “Once upon a time” becomes “twice upon a time,” “wonderful” becomes “twoderful”, “forehead” becomes “fivehead,” “anyone for tennis” becomes “anytwo five elevennis”, “I ate a tenderloin with my fork and so forth” becomes “‘I nine an elevenderloin with my five’k’, and so fifth.”

He said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” and lived it.

Finally, I read about this phenomenon when the Nov. 2017 Reader’s Digest asked what these words have in common—”abhors, almost, begins, biopsy, chimps, chintz.”

Answer? “With 6 letters apiece, they’re among the longest English words with every letter in alphabetized order.”

Whoa—who even figures those things out?

Share any of your favorite word delights, and have a great week.

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