Posts Tagged ‘just for fun’

Today I’m introducing you to another book, Cruel and Unusual Puns, by Don Hauptman, a book about transitional puns.  Not sure what those are?  You’ll catch on quickly.  However, my favorite wordmeister, Richard Lederer, chimes in at the beginning of the book to tell us, “…Many of Hauptman’s clever reversals might be called forkerisms–spoonerisms with a point…”  So grab your fork and spoon and dig in for some fun.

I’m going to quote from Chapter 5: Nothing to Choose but your Lanes, Improbable Definitions and Unlikely Quotes.  “Nothing to Choose but your Lanes” should give you a hint as to the direction we’re headed.  Just switch the L and C if you’re confused.

Alimony: (1)  The ties of exes are upon you.  (2)  The bounty of mutiny
            ~(1) Howard Gossage; (2) Source Unknown

Research psychologists:  Pulling habits out of rats
             ~George P. Schmidt, quoted in Saturday Review

Counterfeiters:  They earn money the hard way–they make it.
              ~Elizabeth Critas, Cincinnati, Ohio, in The New York Magazine Competition

Champagne:  Sips that passion the night.
               ~Source Unknown

Children sharing toys:  The din of inequity 
               ~The Complete Pun Book by Art. Moger

Race tracks:  Where windows clean people.
~Mad Magazine
(Try as I may, this will NOT indent!)

And now some from our author:

Unpopular baseball team: Mitts and Hisses

How trolley enthusiasts describe their passion: A Desire Named Streetcar

Euclid’s lost principle of squaring the circle: First sum, first curved

Postpartum depression:  The Blues of the Birth

Country bumpkin who falls for TV pitches selling cheap Zirconium jewelry:Cubic’s rube

And a few transitional quotes:  (You determine whether they’re real.)   🙂

Marcel Marceau, with characteristic humility: “It’s only a tatter of mime”

Henry Luce on the eve of the Chicago fire: “There’ll be a hot town in the old Time tonight.”   (The Chicago Times was a newspaper.)

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I’m writing this on Monday afternoon with chicken stock simmering on the stove, something to combat the cold outside.  I exercised this morning, both on the treadmill and on the weight machines, but now I’m going to exercise my laughing muscles.  You’re welcome to give yours a workout as well.

As usual, at least so far, all examples are from Richard Lederer’s manual on how misuse of the English language can make us laugh, Anguished English.  Have any of you picked up a copy either at the library or bookstore since you started reading the Language Abuse posts?  I hope at least a few of you have enjoyed them enough to do so.  But now, without further ado or even much ado about nothing, let’s take a look at signs that might give a rather different impression to the reader than was expected by the creator of the sign.

In a New York restaurant:  Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager.

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© janet m. webb

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…???

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

Three Dog Night may think that “One is the loneliest number”, but in this case, one is the funniest number.  We’re back with the 2013 Washington Post again, this time with their Style Invitational.  Here’s how it works.  And yes, once again I was laughing out loud!

The Washington Post’s Style Invitational asks readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The winners were:

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What on earth is a bienapropism??  Richard Lederer says that “The best malapropisms are those that leap across the chasm of absurdity and land on the side of truth” and dubs them bienapropisms, in the spirit of the French roots.  My interpretation?  Bien (good) + appropriate + malapropism = lots of fun!!  Here are some examples, again from Anguished English.  Read ’em and weep.

  1. The cookbook is being compiled.  Please submit your favorite recipe and a short antidote concerning it.
  2. We sold our house and moved into one of those pandemoniums.
  3. To be a leader, you have to develop a spear de corps.
  4. Senators are chosen as committee chairmen on the basis of senility.
  5. The hills were worn down by eroticism.
  6. Apartheid is a pigment of the imagination.
  7. Certainly the pleasures of youth are great, but they are nothing compared to the pleasures of adultery.
  8. The defendant pleaded exterminating circumstances.
  9. Finally, this one that we’ve used for fun in our family for years:  It’s a fragment of your imagination.

Happy Tuesday!

Mrs. Malaprop was a character in 1775 comedy by Richard Sheridan who misused words in a way that created unintentional humor.  From her, we get the word “malapropism”, a particularly enjoyable type of humor.

Malapropism:

: the usually 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

  • “Jesus healing those leopards” is an example of malapropism.

One of my favorite books of comedy, Richard Lederer’s Anguished English, has a number of examples, a few of which I’m sharing with you today.  You survived Monday; you deserve some good laughs!  And if you enjoy word play and, as Lederer says in his subtitle, “accidental assaults upon our language”, I urge you to get the book immediately!!  You won’t stop laughing for hours.  But beware.  It’s addictive!

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