Friday, September 30, 2011


Her heart, her heart’s like crazing paving, upside down and back to front.
She says ooh, it’s so hard to love when love was sure great disappointment.
--Rattlesnakes, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
The amazing Miss Tara Tyler from Tara Tyler Talks awarded me the Blog on Fire award!  I was pretty excited to get this award; I was needing a little fire for my soul this week.  Part of the tithe for this Fiery Meme is to come up with seven things (it’s always seven--this must be the blogger’s lucky number) to share.
I owe the inspiration for my response to a feisty 78 year-old patient.  Thanks to her, I’d like to dedicate this award to lexiconfusion.  That’s my word for when you totally misuse, misappropriate, and misconstrue language, often with hilarious results.
One of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride, highlights and calls out lexiconfusion in this inconceivable montage:

Here are my seven favorite examples of lexiconfusions, starting with the patient who inspired it all:
1.  “Doc, I had the air syphilis last year.  Took some antibiotics and cleared it right up.”  Chart review showed the patient had erysipelas, a skin infection caused by a type of Strep bacteria.  Syphilis is not transmitted by air.  Take a big sigh of relief, reality TV stars.
2.  Politicians offer the best lexiconfusions (remember Dan Quayle?)  There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to Bushisms.  One of W.’s best is from a speech he gave November 6, 2000 in Arkansas, in which he spoke of his critics:  “They misunderestimated me.”  I feel that way too some days.
3.  As a kid, I was a huge fan of the TV show Knight Rider, which showcased David Hasselhoff in his pre-Baywatch and burgerlust days.  I feel the need to Hassle the Hoff about this quote he gave a few years ago:  “I’ve got taste.  It's inbred in me.”

Perhaps the reason I love lexiconfusion so much is that I am a frequent victim.  I have a knack for screwing up song lyrics, which is the basis for #4 and #5.

4.  There was a time when I listened to sappy ballads.  It was Nebraska in the 80s and I had a perm, so I blame chemicals and low hanging power lines.  Me and the girls would wallflower on the bleachers during junior high dances and sing “Making Love out of Nothing At All”--but I thought the song went like this:  And I know when to pull your clothes off, and I know when to let you loose.  

The actual line is I know when to pull you closer.  Should have known my interpretation was way too racy for Air Supply--but what do you expect with a video like this?  (1:00 is the lyric in question)

5.  Manfred Mann’s Earth Band provided another lyric for me to butcher:  Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, another roamer in the night.  I didn’t know what a douche was, and thanks to Webster’s I looked it up and was horrified to imagine why Manfred Mann was weighing in on the virtues of feminine hygiene.  Manfred and Summer’s Eve need to know that while the vagina may be the cradle of life and the center of civilization, it is definitely a self-cleaning organ.  Hail to the V, indeed.

Years later I found out that the actual lyric is revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.  Maybe Manfred should have stuck with the original Springsteen lyrics to avoid lexiconfusion, although I still don’t know what the hell a deuce is--wrapped, revved, or cut loose.  
6.  During my day job, I shape young physicians’ minds, which is as frightening to me as it probably is to you.  Especially when you say something like this to the eager little sponges:
Me:  “His blood cultures are positive.  Did you call micro lab for the orgasm?”
Resident:  “Do you mean organism?”
Me (straight faced):  “Actually, I understand the lab offers all sorts of new services.  It’s a tough economy.”
Resident (confused):  “We need to go to morning report now.”
They just don’t get my humor.
7.  Last, but certainly not least, as if you needed another reason to avoid blind dates. . .
When I was a medical student, I worked with an internist who wanted to live vicariously through me, so she set me up on blind dates with friends of her son.  One date will be etched in my amygdala for the rest of my life.
Blind date guy (let’s call him Dude) took me on a date on the Belle of Brownville, an old time paddlewheel boat reminiscent of Tom Sawyer.  So, in case you're not following:  blind date, two hour boat ride, and I can't swim.  
Dude was sweet and had big muscles, but he was a teeny bit arrogant and dumber than a box of rocks.  As blind date conversations will sometimes do, talk turned to the X-men, and a heated discussion of the best super powers began.

I expressed my love of Professor Xavier’s telepathic ability, but Dude was feeling the all powerful "survival of the fittest" vibe from Apocalypse.  I believe his words were:  "I'd want to be super-powerful, like a God."  And I said, “Yeah, might be cool to be omnipotent.”

Dude blushed.  Then cleared his throat and pinned me with a manly stare, saying:  “No way.  I never have that problem.  Not even when I’m drunk.”
There was not a second date.
I think a great Halloween costume this year would be a Freudian slip, don’t you?
Technically, this is probably a Freudian tutu.
I pass the fire on to a few wonderful bloggers:

Kelly Polark because she has two awesome blogs, one dedicated to what the celebs are reading.

Have you ever experienced lexiconfusion?
Happy Friday everyone!


  1. Oh boy, can't tell you how many times I've come up with my own version of song lyrics. Loved that Air Supply song.

  2. LOL I love these!! I, too confused the Manfred Mann song. Only my version went "chopped loose like a goose, another Roman in the night." Congrats on the blazing award. Oh and that Freudian slip had me snorting out my Diet Pepsi.

  3. I love hearing about your real life experiences, they always crack me up. I definitely have my own song lyrics. I actually thoroughly embarrassed myself in front of my entire music class in 9th grade, by writing the wrong lyrics on the chalkboard, for a Christmas song....humiliations galore. These are the character building moments that I "love" and still make me blush. haha! Congrats on the award. The Freudian Slip (Tutu) is awesome.

  4. The Fruedian tutu is great! Oh, and the Bushism made me laugh. It was great to get to know you better.

  5. I am laughing too much at the orgasm comment. I know I'm going to make that Freudian slip now. Oh man. Congrats on the award! You are on fire!

  6. OMG,I'm LOL'ing that the orgasm comment!

  7. Hi-larious! I can't even say how many songs I messed up. But you win. Awesome post.

  8. Oh, stop, I can't stand it...laughing too hard. I do lexiconfusion with song lyrics too. By the life of me I can't figure out how they really go. I never sang the douche song though, although I did think "Natural Woman" was based on a feminine higene product. And I still sing sappy ballads. Making love out of nothing at all rocked. I also had a perm. The 80's were awesome. And Hasselhoff might have been inbred but he was some fine eye candy in Knight Rider. I watched that show religiously. Thank you for the award! :)

  9. Took me a while to figure out those Manfred Mann lyrics...
    Glad you didn't date that box of rocks again. Oh wait, I just insulted precious stones, didn't I?

  10. I had the same lyric line in my head for the Manfred Mann song. Could not understand why they would say that.

    And thanks for the LLoyd Cole and the Commotions reminder!! I'd forgotten all about them.

  11. This are so funny. I have heard some of these but I know BUSH was so full of mistakes.

  12. Oh, and I forgot to thank you for the award. Thank you.

  13. Ha!! I totally remember when someone had to read aloud from a textbook in class in hs and one said orgasm instead of organism.
    Also, I played either a Chicago or Air Supply cassette tape while I fell asleep in 6th or 7th grade every night. (obviously before my intro to real rock n roll)
    Thank you so much for the fiery award!!

  14. Oh yes, I'm an expert at mishearing song lyrics - and they never ever go away, even when you learn the right words.

  15. It's DEUCE, babe!


    Srsly, this post kicked ass. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  16. those are awesome! the air supply song and blinded by the light have always been confusing! there's a couple more recent ones i botch now =)
    great factoids!

  17. J.L.--I found myself listening to it over and over while I was doing this--even when I didn't need to

    Melissa--I wonder if Manfred realizes how many people he confused with his song?

    Heather and E.R.--I dare say Freud would not be amused.

    Lydia and Sprinkles--I was just proud that I handled it with a straight face and confused the hell out of the resident in the process.

    Erin--I think it's a universal thing to screw up song lyrics.

    Laila--I used to sit for hours with hundreds of those plastic curlers piled on my head getting choked by sulfur fumes. I don't miss perms.

    Alex--even if he hadn't have had that gaff, I couldn't date someone who thought Apocalypse was the greatest Xmen villain.

    L.G.--I love Lloyd Cole--soundtrack of my high school years.

    Clarissa--Bush had so many funny ones, and said them all with a straight face. Truth is funnier than fiction sometimes.

    Kelly--I am so glad your musical tastes have changed!!

    Sarah--I'm to the point where I sing whatever I want, just begging people to correct me. It drives them crazy.

    Suze--It was the seventies! I thought maybe he was feeling out his feminine side!

    E.--I'm so happy I'm not the only one!

    Tara--Air Supply is probably a lot more perverted than anyone ever knew

  18. Hilarious post. Growing up in Ireland we listened to American pop songs and yes many a lexiconfusion, one that comes to mind is the Beach Boys
    "her daddie took the key board away" later found her daddie took the "T Bird away"...we did not have American cars in Ireland then.
    Thanks for the fun.

    Helen xx

  19. Oh Julie. When I'm down, I only need to come here to get my dose of laughter. Thank you. You are hilarious! ;)


  20. Too always! I always thought the same thing about the "douche" song. Here's one of my misunderstood lyrics: In Neil Diamond's song, "Forever in Blue Jeans", I thought he sang, "Reverend Blue Jeans." Made sense to me! :)

  21. I fell in love with my mother-in-law when she referred to her Volvo as her vulva.

  22. My daughter and I had a conversation about the Manfred Mann song a while back. It came on the car radio and she looked at me... "did they just say what I think they said?" I just shrugged. I always thought what you thought, Julie. Glad you cleared that up. Now about that other section of the same song...

  23. These lexiconfusions are hilarious, especially misunderestimated. And I love that Air Supply song.

    Have a great weekend.

  24. Lexiconfusion, I hope it's a real disease, with pills and everything. Because I think I have it and I need help.


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