Grammar

It Has Nothing to Do With Loving Astronomy

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I once was reading something that a friend wrote, and came across a phrase that made me laugh. She had written a piece of dialog in which one character accuses another of being “star-craving mad.” I suppose the image the character must have had in mind was someone who ran outside barking at the sky like a hound dog.

I’ve always been amused by those little phrases like “for all intents and purposes,” (not “for all intensive purposes”) which lead to aural misinterpretations because they’re usually only heard, not seen. It doesn’t help matters that there’s a novel called “Star Craving Mad.”

But for the benefit of anyone who wants to describe someone who is crazy, make sure you replace “star-craving mad” with “stark raving mad,” a phrase that has been with us since the 18th century.

2 Comments

  1. Yes, mondegreens can be amusing. Children seem to produce more of them than adults, of course, since they hear far more than they read.

  2. Oh, I don’t know. I actually like star craving mad. It could be a wonderful character point for someone who speaks in malapropisms. I like it enough to be thinking about “borrowing” it. Coining phrases for fiction, especially for those of us writing in the future when mutations in phrases would be logical, could be just what’s needed.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.