BeakSpeak Book

Legacy Gets Her Come-Uppigs and Other Malapropisms

For this blog, you need to remember how BeakSpeak’s Mixed-Up Chuck uses words that sound like what he means to say. It’s true that mostly very young children do this, like toddlers to five-years-old, but, if you go online, you will find that a number of Statesmen have been guilty of malapropisms, as well. The word malapropism comes from the French, mal apropos, meaning not appropriate, but truly, the mix-up is generally harmless, if not funny. So, be watching for them, and see if you can discern what it is I truly intend to say. To further enjoy malapropisms, read Richard Sheridan’s 1775, hilarious play, The Rivals, that features a Mrs. Malaprop.

Months went by, and Legacy grew to become a beautiful filly. I could run with her, play hide her face with a towel, chase her, and basically do anything with her that didn’t involve trying to get on her.

She was big enough now that it was time she, what they say in the cowboy circuit, “got broke.” So, Claudia and I sought help from one of our last farriers, who told us he knew of a top not trainer. His name was Marty Allen Wernle, and he lived in St. Hedwig, not a far pace up the road from Seguin. He’s now in the Saddlebred Horse Hall of Fame.

We arrived, Leg in tow, at the training corral early, before Marty even, and Legacy was nervously stomping around in the trailer. Directly, here he came, pedaling in on a tantrum bike! He looked so funny. I mean, why a two-seeder? Marty was anything but your typical trainer. He looked more like someone from a dude ranch. Anyway, he helped us back Legacy out of the trailer and walk her over to the stables filled with small stalls.

I didn’t have a good feeling about this. That was going to be the first time she would be confined, and my heart heard for her. I’m sure they looked as small to her as they did to me. They reminded me of cuticles in an office building. l hoped it was just a pigment of my imagination, but I saw trouble brewing. After being “free as a bird” (cliche) for so long, I was afraid what this refinement would do to her sole. My concerns were validated. She became so claustrophobic all she would do in that stall was turn in circles and sweat. Terror eliminated from her eyes. I couldn’t watch it anymore. Marty was supposed to be a suppository of equine knowledge, though, so I trusted what he needed to do. He’d tell me he didn’t portend to have the only way to break a horse, but that he was mighty successful. So, who was I to upset the apple tart? If I reprehended anything, it was that I sure couldn’t do it. After all, Legacy’s 1800 pounds of untrained power was too much for me to challenge.

I remember one bad weather event where it flooded in St. Hedwig. Claudia and I had to go help Marty evaporate the horses before the water rose too high.

Following much suffering, Legacy was “broken.” I never saw that terror leave her eyes, though, until I brought her home. Looking back now, I realize I needed a “horse whisperer” for her, not a cowboy who broke her spirit so badly.

I’ve never known anybody so ready to get home as Legacy. At the beginning of that summer, not lone after Legacy was home, I rode her in my round pen. After all the times I road her at Marty’s, that was the first time I felt sheer joy.

Naturally, I thought I could do the same thing with her mom, since Cuban Gold had been trained to the saddle many years before, and Marty had “tuned her up” for me. Well, she didn’t like it one bit (excuse the pun) and predominantly bucked me off. I flew high into the air and hit the ground hard. It fractured my Elvis, segregated my left boulder, broke my ribs and punctured a lung. I was putrefied that, if I lived, I would never walk again, much less ride. I want you all to know, though I’ve spent years trying to illiterate that accident from my memory, I still binge when I think of it.

(This section is free of malapropisms) My mom, my sister, Gail and her husband, Rod, and my sister, Shelly and her boys, Justin and DiIlon, came to help me out on the farm. Before the accident, I had just had the hay field cut and baled. Shelly single-handedly hauled more round bales from the field to the hay pen than I could count. She stayed at it all day long, and that’s saying a lot since Poppin’ Jenny had very little pop left in her by then. Naturally, to compound problems, one of the tractor tires went flat. So, we jammed it into my little Ford Ranger, and I sent Shelly to town with my brother-in-law to get it repaired. Shel had never driven a stick before, but I wasn’t going to trust Rod to try to drive it. Bless his heart, Rod was not terribly bright. Anyway, they made it without grinding out the gears. The Seguin tire company said they would deliver it after it was mended if they knew the address. Rod said, “Oh, you know, the Double Bar M.” Of course, the tire company had no idea what Rod was talking about. A little “fly-by-night” (cliche) outfit like mine wasn’t “on their radar” (cliche). We’ve had many a laugh about that one for years. Sadly, both my sister and her husband died in 2004, just seven months apart. She was 51, and he was 47.

Malapropism corrections in the order they appear in the blog: Come Uppigs – Comeuppances; not – notch; pace – piece; tantrum – tandem; seeder – seater; heard – hurt; cuticles — cubicles; pigment – figment; refinement – confinement; sole – soul; eliminated; emanated; suppository – repository; portend – pretend; tart – cart; reprehended – comprehended; evaporate – evacuate; lone – long; road; rode; predominantly – promptly; Elvis – pelvis; segregated – separated; boulder – shoulder; putrefied – petrified; illiterate – obliterate; binge – cringe; ratified – terrified. So, how’d you do ?

Though malapropisms can be funny, they certainly interfere with what you mean to say, to which you can now attest. This may come as news to my family, but I heard my father use malapropisms, from time to time, as I was growing up. I am the eldest of five, and Dad died young, so I don’t expect my siblings would have noticed much. I, therefore, have a personal interest in BeakSpeak’s mixed-up Chuck. My dad was Charles, Sr., so I guess I may have subconsciously patterned Mix-Up Chuck after him. Anyway, my little cockerel is getting the word out that using precise vocabulary is very important to the meaning of your sentences. I’m also hoping bungling words isn’t hereditary. 🙂

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