This post is Day Two of the 5 Day 5 Photo Challenge in which I feature malapropisms.
Raqi and her buddy are at Spark’s football game. Because they are obviously ignoring the action, I looked for a malapropism having to do with ‘hiding.’
I didn’t find one, but I found something better. The kind of serendipitous find that occurs only after you’ve stopped looking for something.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about a phrase I wrestle with, never realizing it is a malapropism!
Nor did I realize that I Am a Malapropiator! Malaprotionist? Maladjusted?
I thought the proper phrase was ‘hone in on’. I thought the people who used ‘home in on’ were
idiots misguided. For years, I’ve muttered under my breath whenever I’ve read ‘home in on’. Yet I carried a nagging feeling that perhaps (only this one time) I might be wrong. Just in case, I’ve avoided using either phrase, thinking I’d eventually ask my learned readers.
Lo and behold, Mr. Rubin set me straight. In his malapropism dictionary, going to hell in a hen basket, right under the H’s is the following:
hone in on
Confuses expressions such as ‘finely honed’ (sharp) with ‘home in on’ or ‘zero in on’ (focus on, locate) and sometimes with ‘horn in on’ (intrude upon). ‘Homing’, as pigeons perform it, often involves flying in narrowing circles until the target is reached. ‘Hone’ means to sharpen; the malapropism ‘hone in on’ conveys the sense of a carefully sharpened instrument and sometimes ‘cutting in’.
The author goes on to say:
Some dictionaries now accept ‘hone in on’ as standard usage.
“Wow, lady, way to hone in on this kid’s moment.”
twitter.com 17 Sept 2014
Given the techies’ love affair with unmanned flying operables that do everything from delivering Amazon orders to killing terrorists, I fully expect the next version of the dictionary to malapropiate ‘drones in on’, not to be confused with ‘drone-ing on and on’.