Ok.... I guess Ron's version is the simplified version of this (which you'd probably rather read), but I thought I'd go into a little more depth.... a pun is *similar* to a malapropism in that it is a play on words-- but they are not the same thing. If you read the examples below, you'll understand why Ron called a malapropism an "intentional" pun to summarize... but there's more. They are really quite different.
Basically, there are three different types of "play on words" recognized and defined in the English language (well, there may be more than three, but as far as I know these are the main three.)
#1- A Pun-- (from the dictionary)
"A pun is a CLEVER AND INTENTIONAL play on words and humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound."
Here's an Example of a pun: "There were 12 rabbits and we divided them in the pen, 6 on one side and 6 on the other side. I can't believe my mother said we were splitting hares!"
#2 Spoonerism--(from the dictionary)
"William A. Spooner died 1930 English clergyman & educator] First appeared 1900--
a transposition of usu. initial sounds of two or more words"
Example of a spoonersim: Saying "tons of soil" for "sons of toil". Another famous spoonerism (to my family, at least) is the joke about a baseball pitcher by the name of Mel Famey who drank too many beers before pitching the game. Punch line, "It was the beer that made Mel Famey walk us". Of course, you're probably too young to remember the commercial for Old Milwalkee beer which said, "It's the beer that made Milwaulkee famous". And there's another joke about a piano tuner by the name of "Oburnokity" who would only tune a piano once. When asked why, he said, "Oburnokity only tunes once". (a spoonerism of "Opportunity only knocks once".)
Ok, and now for... (whew! finally!!)
#3-- Malapropism (I quoted the dictionary definition above, but will do it again so you won't have to scroll up... hehehe)
"the usu. UNINTENTIONALLY humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase; especially : the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context"
From a website about malapropisms called Conan the Grammarian: "Mrs. Malaprop, for whom these misused words are named, was the leading lady in Richard Sheridan's "The Rivals," a late eighteenth-century play about a lady whose husband came into some money and who was thrust into the uppercrud of society. Mrs. Malaprop did not want to seem out of place, so she simply used big words to appear genteel. Malapropisms are in the same class as spoonerisms and puns, but are not for the feint of heart."
Examples of malapropism:
The man is an idiom. (meaning "idiot")
He wears shoes made of stimulated alligator. (meaning "simulated")
I resemble that! (meaning "resent")
That girl who ate the squid... did she eat the testicles too? (meaning "tentacles")
We had a 15 inch erotic house plant in our living room. (meaning "exotic")
I need the afternoon off to attend my brother's consummation. (meaning "convocation").
That's a mute point.(meaning "moot")
(Some of the above were also quoted from another website)
Alrighty then, I guess I better be quiet for a while.... hehehe.... I just LOVE this stuff and thought all of the above examples very funny and wanted to share them with you guys.
Hope you all enjoyed these!
With one wish we wake the will within wisdom. With one will we wish the wisdom within waking.