Jerry Angelo Was A Drag, But Was He A Mrs. Malaprop?


Today I'm going to play language referee and call a personal foul on the Tribune Sports Section. In its attempt to pile on Jerry Angelo for misusing the Mother Tongue, the Sports Section failed---as I look at the replay---to make its case.

"It's a Jury Banjo thing You might not understand" purports---in the form of a Fill-in-the Blanks quiz---to demonstrate "the former GM's malaprops". For those unfamiliar with this verbal gaffe, a malaprop is the confusion of a word with a similar-sounding one, which often results in hilarious nonsense. The literary term is derived from Mrs. Malaprop, a character  in an 18th-century British comedy, "The Rivals" by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.   I imagine Mrs. Malaprop had her  1775 audiences in stitches with lines like these: "She is as headstrong as an allegory on the Nile." "He is the very pineapple of politeness".

There is a cornucopia  of examples of the malaprop in pop culture  I'll  just cite a few good ones . Edith Bunker in an episode of "All in the Family" once referred to 'V-D Day'.  "Welcome to my humble chapeau," said a character , no, not in "A Cat in a Hat', but in  "My Favorite Year".  And here are a few from "The Sopranos":  'Prostate with grief.' ' Create a little dysentery (i.e. dissension) among the ranks.'  'Quasimdo (i.e. Nostradamus) predicted this.'

Back to Jerry Angelo.  He did commit one malaprop. "When we do our homework on players, we have  a very sound and tested mythology that we go about researching all players in college to veteran free agents." So there just might be some methodology to the Tribune's madness.

Leave a comment