This week while editing an academic text, my hawkish eyes fell upon the phrase money laundry. The esteemed professor had made a typographical error. I smiled quietly to myself as images of ‘money laundry’ flooded my imagination.
Blame the mishearing, blame the accent, blame the frame of reference – these give rise to mondegreens.
“According to the word watcher William Safire of The New York Times, the term mondegreen dates from a 1954 magazine article by Sylvia Wright in which she said she had misheard the folk lyric ”and laid him on the green” as ”and Lady Mondegreen,” says http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/09/technology/sweet-slips-of-the-ear-mondegreens.html