Vull and noid

Of course, we all know that it should really read “null and void.”  But, it’s part of the story right now.

I was playing “party” bridge with a few of my friends tonight, and our system in order to reduce the wait between hands is for the dummy to prepare the next deal by dealing out the four hands while waiting.  On one of the hands, it was forgotten to do this (Joe was setting a record for playback and also getting some more food).  Therefore, when we finished the hand and did not have a next hand immediately ready, Jimmy said, “That makes our system vull and noid.”

Everyone would know what he meant, but that makes it interesting for me to write about–any sort of prompt is a good jump-off point for a blog post!

Phonemic flip-flops foster funniness.  Another one that I always think of is from Dragon Quest VIII, where Geyzer, the first boss, flip-flops phonemes at the beginning of words (e.g. “tortune feller” instead of “fortune teller.”)  There is just something about having to finish the transposition of phonemes when you inadvertently mess it up on one of them.  There are other uses, unfortunately, such as interchanging the letter of an expletive and another word.  Naturally, I would not use this, as in the rare cases where I would swear, I prefer to be more clever (i.e. using math terms.  Riemann-Stieltjes!)

Sometimes, this interchange can make for a pun or even a band name.  For example, the Israeli hip-hop group הדג נחש (Hadag Nachash) is a play on words caused by interchange of phonemes (a “spoonerism”).  It can go from “The Snake Fish” (the actual name of the group) to “New Driver” (נהג חדש: Nahag Chadash).  This is a case where the interchange of phonemes actually makes sense in words, but it is not clear whether that was intentional when the group was formed.  Again, it may be a loss in translation–puns and wordplay often do not carry over when translated

In any case, I notice that whenever I unintentionally commit a spoonerism, I carry it to completion, instead of stopping, reversing, and correcting the songue tlip.  There is humorous effect in finishing a spoonerism, and the non-words often sound better than the words that were supposed to be used.

What are your favorite examples of these gaffes?


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