How to Enjoy a Suprise or the Best Way to Levitate Your Supper
by Owen Fourie
It’s all over the Internet. Here are some headings and parts of headings found there (without correction):
- Michael Jackson Suprise on Britains Got Talent
- Debt Talks and Suprise Verdict Top Media Agenda
- Expressing Shock And Suprise
- The Answer May Suprise You!
This set me searching for this Suprise—who or what is Suprise? The only clue from the above usage was that, whatever it might be, it occurs as a noun and a verb. In the second heading, it seems to be an adjective. We’ll disregard the missing apostrophe in the first heading.
Of course, it was a vain search because there is simply no such thing as Suprise. It does not exist.
There is a way to give it life, though. Let’s say that while I prepare my supper I fondly refer to it in abbreviated terms as my sup. Now, my sup is ready, but before I eat it, I decide to exercise some of my arcane powers to levitate my sup.
Success! Did you see my sup rise? You did? Good. It was, indeed, a sup rise.
As far as I know, that is the only way that there can be a suprise.
What is intended by those who use this word is actually the word surprise. Note the new letter r.
The problem is that when you pronounce surprise, the first r is not heard.
Consequently, there is the tendency to write this word according to what is heard—suprise—without the first r.
This cannot be excused. It is a flagrant misspelling, which should not be seen in print at all. The word is s-u-R-p-r-i-s-e.
I’m sorry, but I cannot divulge the secret of precisely how I make my sup rise. Does that surprise you?
Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome. Have you found other annoying, ridiculous, and careless misspellings on the Internet that should be mentioned here?
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