Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's Eels Got To Do With It?

In a Washington Post blog post about MSNBC and their habit of race-baiting, this incorrect usage popped up:

It is, of course, the mores/morays confusion. It's a common mistake among the semi-well educated. Mores (always spelled with an S) are defined as: the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community. Morays, on the other hand, are eels; and amoré is the Italian word for love.

(Once, when a journalist wrote of "sexual morays," I sent the link to Christopher Hitchens, and we traded verses of The Good Ship Venus in email:

The captain's lovely daughter
Liked swimming in the water
Delighted squeals came when some eels
Found her sexual quarters!

Here's a song to help you understand:


ProudHillbilly said...

That's hysterical. My grammar pet peeve is "historic" and "historical". And I live in a historic area that has a strip plaza sign that welcomes you to historical Charles Town.

Brock Townsend said...

Morays are good. No bones. Used to shoot them diving in Southern California. You have to get them in the head or they'll go for you. You can also get them at low tide by using a short bamboo pole, with wire leader 1.0 hook and shrimp. You push it under large rocks. They live outside the salt water in a burlap bag for many hours, but die immediately if immersed in fresh water.

Bob said...

@Brock Townsend: First I've heard of people eating them, but I didn't eat calamari for the first time until I was 24 or so. :)

Brock Townsend said...