photo of man wearing Daniel Boone hat with funny face on article published November 18, 2015 Employment Law Blog Carnival on Malapropism

We collect Malaprops. They’re like misheard lyrics, only they are sayings, words, or clichés gone askew. You know, how a rolling stone gathers no moths. (moss)

We collect Malaprops. They’re kind of like misheard lyrics, only they are sayings, words, or clichés gone askew.

The name Malaprop comes from Mrs. Malaprop a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan‘s 1775 play The Rivals. Mrs. Malaprop never could get it quite right, and her mistakes were especially amusing. Malaprop is based on the French phrase mal à propos, which means “poorly placed.”

Shakespeare used them for fun: “Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons” (Much Ado About Nothing), and “Certainly he is the very devil incarnal…” (Merchant of Venice).

Politicians and celebrities have made some doozies, including:

  • Mike Tyson who worried he would “fade into Bolivian.” (Oblivion)
  • Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley called a tandem bicycle a “tantrum bicycle,” and referred to “Alcoholics “
  • The former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, said: “No one… is the suppository of all wisdom.”


So here are some of our favorite malaprops paired with some great employment law articles.

They’re tough and remorseful.

Robin Shea presents the termination toolkit with 20 questions to ask before you fire someone. It’s one of the best summaries of employment law we’ve seen. If you need legal related help you can click this link Ohio probate law attorney for more information.

Stuck between a rock and a high place.

Doug Haas on how expense reimbursements can affect an employee’s regular rate of pay for wage hour claims.

It’s a Catch 50-50

Janette Levey Frisch explains how employees who stopped shoplifters by grabbing the thief and/or their weapons were fired for violating the company’s nonviolence policy, then were able to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit because of the public policy supporting self-defense.

It’s not rocket surgery

Eric Meyer explains how after work facebook posts can create a hostile work environment. Hint: Weasels at work don’t stop because you are off the clock.

Don’t have channel vision.

Stuart Rudner takes on the tricky situation of when you can fire someone while they are on disability leave – and it’s possible under both Canadian and US law.

We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.

Philip Miles takes on those pesky “no-rehire” and “no-apply” clauses in severance agreements. Turns out the EEOC and the courts’ views on enforceability are different on this too.

It’s beyond my apprehension.

Robert Fitzpatrick surveys conflicting and confusing case law on what exactly it takes to prove causation in a discrimination case and the cat’s paw theory.

(We) understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. (Dan Quayle)

William Goren explains pregnancy accommodation under the ADA and ADAAA because with pregnancy and life, timing matters.

They’re not here to create disorder; they’re here to preserve disorder. (Mayor Daley on the police)

Cori Zuppo examines union organizing under the NLRA, and the technical and ethical issues with “click to organize” –efficiency or opening the process to fraud?

Holding them hostile.

Donna Ballman explains how companies are using bonuses and other “rewards” to indudce (and sometimes trick) employees into signing noncompete agreements.

Pull a miracle out of the fire and smoke it.

Andrea Paris takes on what you can ask on employment applications about a candidate’s criminal history—with special rules on marijuana under California law, of course.

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