Q: List some malapropisms (the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended).

A: Homophones

I hope I have (piqued/peaked) your interest.

  • advertisement cited by William Safire, NY Times, November 13, 1993

Near homophones

And to your humors changing, I tune my (subtle/supple) song.

  • Mary Higgins Clark, I'll Be Seeing You, Pocket, New York, 1993, p. 123

Can you (e/i)nsure that all is well? ... for all (intensive/intents and) purposes.

  • Observed in Usenet rec.puzzles article, 2/21/94

He walked up to the (bespectacled/bespeckled) bank teller. Home is where the heart(h) is. I think you are taking the right tac(k/t). It's coming down the pi(p/k)e. I will ski(m)p over the specifics.

  • Solomon Feferman, American Mathematical Monthly, February 1999, p. 100

I've been ra(c)king my brain the whole time.

  • Patricia D. Cornwell, All That Remains, Avon, New York, 1993, p. 231

Listen to the (blabbing/babbling) brook.

  • Norm Crosby

...men who were unaware of the Illuminati stronghold/stranglehold on the Masons.

  • Dan Brown, Angels & Demons, Pocket, New York, 2000, p. 39

Music has charms to soothe the savage b(r)east. She gave him a (venomous/venenose) stare. She was (ravished/ravaged) by his gaze. That contraption looks j(er/u)ry-rigged. [probably from jerry-built? That is a tough (row/road) to hoe. That will put a cr(a/i)mp in my style. The astronaut was hur(t)led into space. The car caree(n/r)s down the road. The horse is ch(a/o)mping on the bit. The organizer tried to (b)ring us in. The raft tipped and du(c/n)ked us all. The storm is wre(a/c)king havoc. The sun pe(a/c)ked out from behind clouds.

  • Patricia D. Cornwell, All That Remains, Avon, New York, 1993, p. 36

They felt the (temblor/trembler) shake the building. ... they tended to (parse/parcel) it out over long vacations.

  • Kim Masters, The Keys to the Kingdom, Morrow, New York, 2000, p. 280

We all must w(e/i)nd our way through life. We must inst(a/i)ll some discipline. We should try to ho(m/n)e in on the real issue.

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