MRS. MALAPROP?

This formidable lady, aunt and guardian of Lydia Languish, thought it would be extremely pleasant to become Lady O'Trigger, and so she corresponded with Sir Lucius O'Trigger under the name of Delia. All this you will find in Sheridan's work, " The Rivals." The courtship prospered for a time because Sir Lucius cherished the fond delusion that the letters were written by the niece, but when he learnt otherwise, Mrs. Malaprop's dreams of love came to an abrupt end. Mrs. Malaprop's real claim to immortality, however, rests on her ludicrous misapplication of words. " As headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile," is a classic example. Other examples are : " Delusions to the past," " flying with the utmost felicity," and " comparisons are odorous." The name Malaprop, of course, is derived from the French mal a propos, which means " wrongly applied."