Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Semantic Swapping

A semantic phenomenon, similar to the phonetic one I wrote about in Phonetic Typing Errors, occurred recently while I was writing a freelance article about flamingos.

When I write, I often toss ideas around in my head while I am doing other things like walking the dog or making dinner. For a reason I can't explain, I kept thinking "penguin" instead of "flamingo" as I was coming up with ideas for the article.

How bizarre ... one bird is associated with warm climates and the other with cold (not to mention the numerous other differences).

Here is a French idiom from Grammar Party to go with this post just for the heck of it -

French idiom: Faire le pied de grue
Literal translation: To make like a flamingo stands
Idiomatic meaning: To wait
Image credits


Mulled Vine said...

French for lawnmower?

Coup de grace.

Laura Payne said...

Mulled Vine - I just did a babylon translate on the idiom and it returns this interesting version, "to make the foot of crane".

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