Posts Tagged ‘word humor’

Here’s the end of history as we know is or, rather, as we didn’t know it. Unfortunately, the bloopers only go up to WWI, but don’t worry, there will be lots more fun with words on the following Tuesdays.  Now on to the fun!

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim’s Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers.  Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps.  During the War, the Red Coast and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls.  The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. His farewell address was Mount Vernon.

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This week we’ll take a break from Anguished English because my sister-in-law sent me the results of the Washington Post’s annual neologism contest.  These are just too much fun not to pass on.

(Just did a bit more research and found that these are from 2013.  That means more to come, I’d guess.)

Once again The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.
The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Spelling is often abused, not always with humorous outcomes, although auto correct has its moments.  However, these spelling bloopers might, to quote a famous rock group, “make a grown man cry.”  I suppose now it should read “make a grown person cry”, but as they say: “Whatever!”

  1. The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.
  2. Vestal virgins were pure and chased.
  3. In Pittsburgh they manufacture iron and steal.  (Dan, is that true???)
  4. They gave William IV a lovely funeral.  It took six men to carry the beer.  (Seems like “Dilly, dilly” should be the response.)
  5. To celebrate at feasts, the inhabitants of old England sometimes cut the head off the biggest bore and carried it around on a platter.
  6. Carats, 2 for 39 cents.
  7. Please leave your umbrella and goulashes here.  (Is that cultural appropriation?)
  8. She had a seizure–her third one–and she fell and went unconscious.  She was in a comma and she never woke up.
  9. Editors and Proff Readers–Must be good in spelling and grammar.  (We can see why!)
  10. Mr. and Mrs. Garth Robinson request the honor of your presents at the marriage of their daughter Holly to Mr. James Stockman.  (That’s why you invite 300 of your closest friends, right?)

Again, all from Anguished English, by Richard Lederer.  Please, if you don’t buy it, at  least check it out (literally as well as figuratively) from the library!

 

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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Ve have our vays of finding dese tings!!

Mom’s Love Us.    The subject line for an email from a restaurant advertising for Mother’s Day.  They have wonderful food, but could use either some editing help or more knowledge about apostrophes and plurals.

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