Difference between revisions of "739: Malamanteau"

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(mondegreen tackles malamanteau. can it get anymore meta than that?)
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*[http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/index.php?s=malamanteau Entries referencing "malamanteau"] at LanguageLog.com
*[http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/index.php?s=malamanteau Entries referencing "malamanteau"] at LanguageLog.com
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AMalamanteau/Archive_1 Malamanteau Talk Page Archive] at Wikipedia.com
*Malamanteau Talk Page Archives [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AMalamanteau/Archive_1 1][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Malamanteau/Archive_2 2] at Wikipedia.com
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Malamanteau Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Malamanteau]
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Malamanteau Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Malamanteau]
*[https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malamanteau_page_history.jpg Screen capture] of the deleted history for the "Malamanteau" page from Wikipedia
*[https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malamanteau_page_history.jpg Screen capture] of the deleted history for the "Malamanteau" page from Wikipedia

Revision as of 02:27, 9 October 2013

The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.
Title text: The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.


A malapropism is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical utterance. An example is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes". A portmanteau is a word made-up of two or more combined words and their definitions. For example, motel is a portmanteau, from the words motor and hotel. Here, Randall uses the word "malamanteau" which is both a portmanteau of "malapropism" and "portmanteau" and a malaprop of "portmanteau". The methods used to create this new word are the very words used in the process. This is called a meta or “self-referential” joke.

"Malamanteau" was originally coined in 2007, when it was proposed by user ludwig_van on Metafilter as a term for language errors like "flustrated" (flustered & frustrated) and "misconscrewed" (misconstrued & screwed). Malamanteau did not appear on LangaugeLog until after this strip.


In response to this comic, editors at Wikipedia created a malapropism page. It was deleted multiple times and eventually turned into a redirect to the Wikipedia page for xkcd. Malamanteau and the controversy at Wikipedia got coverage at The Economist and The Boston Globe.


[The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.]
((The Wikipedia logo.))
The free encyclopedia
((Side navigation options.))
- Main Page
- Contents
- Featured Content
- Current Events
((Wikipedia header options.))
Article Discussion Edit this page History
((The article itself.))
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A malamanteau is a neologism for a portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a neologism. It is itself a portmanteau of ((... the article cuts off.))
((Below the panel.))
Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it *really* likes?

External links


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Neologism isn't properly defined in the explanation. A neologism can be any new word; it doesn't have to be made through a combination of other words. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malamanteau redirects to xkcd's page last I checked. Wiktionary's page on it was deleted almost 3 years ago. Additionally, the description is missing an explanation for the image text (and maybe the word "portmanteau" should get a definition included). 22:03, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Now that you mention that the page redirects to xkcd, it's interesting to see the Revision history on it (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Malamanteau&action=history&year=2013) Saibot84 (talk) 03:24, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
  • <12:44, 26 April 2013>‎ Amalthea (Protected Malamanteau: Repeatedly recreated ([Edit=Block all non-admin users] (indefinite) [Move=Block all non-admin users] (indefinite)))
  • <12:43, 26 April 2013>‎ Amalthea (-130) (Revert to revision by Amalthea)
  • <11:34, 26 April 2013>‎ IP_77... (+130) (Undid revision by Amalthea, restored the content)
  • <13:25, 20 April 2013‎> Amalthea‎ (-130) (In the absence of new reliable sources that can bring this beyond a dictionary entry, I think the consensus from Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Malamanteau still holds.)
  • <13:07, 20 April 2013‎> IP_87... (+130) (restored the content from the comic)
  • <22:07, 27 September 2012‎ Scottywong (+18) (redirect to xkcd)
  • <unknown date> Page Deleted

I have a feeling that the main point of this comic was that the words "portmanteau" and "neologism" (and maybe even "malapropism") appear disproportionately more on Wikipedia than other references. I certainly would agree with that sentiment. --Quicksilver (talk) 02:19, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

The page is still redirecting to the wikipedia page on xkcd, how long do you think it will be before the original content is restored? Whiskey07 (talk) 11:37, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Never. The page has now been fully, indefinitely protected. Good thing too. NealCruco (talk) 21:45, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Quicksilver's comment: not only is the comic poking fun at Wikipedia's propensity for using these words, but Randall's comic has created a page relying on almost no content _except_ these sorts of words. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"and a malapropism of "portmanteau"." I'm a little confused on how that is a malapropism.-- 09:42, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

I am quite tempted to add a citation needed note to this sentence: "This is called a meta or "self-referential" joke." Erin Anne (talk) 14:28, 18 October 2021 (UTC)

It’s great. Or eventually after searching through links entitled to sitewars thisis actually loveable. Knowing annotators basically oppose uncitated terms, picking a really, evidently imaginary disambiguation… Overreaction leaps inevitably athand. Aggressors tend to have explanations similarto ”imaginary terms”. Every other frase known now once was laughable, even droll. Goodly ended arguments sparsely keep winning. Here you afford results earn nice triumphs. To have every reader everywhere searching this article redirected… Sensational! (Jacey) JezebelCeasedToExist (talk) 13:03, 11 April 2022 (UTC)

So, to explain: Get all non-initials. Offload / gently remove. Add punctuation. Herewith you've... "I go east, let's talk about pareidolia. At the site of knowledge, ask why arent there stars?" 15:01, 11 April 2022 (UTC)
(Psst, you are really clever! But could you remove this comment and bring it back in a week? I just don't want it to be immediately spoiled for everyone.) JezebelCeasedToExist (talk) 15:22, 11 April 2022 (UTC)