Quips and Quirks of a Theatre-Bound Word Nerd

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ports a Whaterism?

“Excuse me, Miss Porter, did you just say “ports a whaterism?” you ask.
Why, yes, Viewer, I did.
“But, what on earth do you mean by that?”
Well, “ports a whaterism” is exactly what a porterism is.
“…And that means…?”
A porterism is a language idiosyncrasy I’ve picked up from my family, namely my mother’s family. A porterism is basically the phrase that results in flipping or inverting consonants and/or vowels among two or more words. (Technically, in the real world, porterisms are spoonerisms. But, because my last name is Porter, and none of my friends had ever encountered anyone who did crazy stuff like that, they deemed them porterisms.)
“Okay, so now I know what it is, but how do I do it?”
Wonderful question, viewer, because it’s your lucky day! I am going to explain to you, in full, juicy detail how to construct your very own PORTERISM!!! *and the crowd goes wild!!!!*
First think of a simple phrase. For example, the first phrase that came to my mind was, “the dog was playful.”
Now, ask yourself what the two key words of that phrase are. I’ll just be here, waiting, as you ask yourself.
You figured out the answer? What did you come up with?
Um, ‘dog’ and ‘playful.’”
Exactamundo! You are correct, Viewer!! Now, take the first letter(s) of those words and put them on each other.
“Okay, I think I got it.”
Did you get “The plog was dayful?”
Viewer, you just made your first porterism!!!!  *a mini celebration ensues with piñatas and a small pyrotechnics show*

Porterisms are prolly pointless, but, they make life interesting sometimes. A wise woman (who happened to birth me) once said “try to find as much fun in a life that’s so serious.” And, for my family, that’s extremely word-nerdy, porterisms are something that just come naturally to us.
Funny story – you ready? Well, at first, I had to think about making a porterism. But now, sometimes if I’m really tired or excited (or just normal) a porterism will come out, and I don’t even notice it. I’ve even porterism-ed in Spanish. I’ve even done it – accidentally, of course – in front of the whole student body.
Funny story #2 – My aunt (my mother’s youngest sister), the person who invented the porterism even porterism-ed the Pledge of Allegiance. And, ohmigosh, is it ohsohilarious. She even tried to do it to some Bible verses.

Well, now the porterism has been demystified. Tune in next time for another surprise post here, on Just Another Porterism. That’s all I have for you today, folks; I’m Anna Porter, see you next time!

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