Showing posts with label word play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label word play. Show all posts

13 May 2012

Crime and PUNishment

ghost writer
ghost writer
by Leigh Lundin

SleuthSayers and Criminal Briefers are known for their love of word play. Last Tuesday Dale Andrews brought us The Devil's Dictionary and two weeks before that an article on paraprosdokia, bracketing humor by Rob Lopresti, Neil Schofield, and others.

At Criminal Brief's Corporate Headquarters, puns surfaced early and often. Today's contribution comes to us from South Africa, thanks to friends Michael Forsyth and his wife Cherri. You'll find new jeux de mots and a few old favorites. The visual puns are copyrighted by their creators, including the very clever thievery at the end from Worth1000.com.

Are We Having Pun Yet?
  • I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
  • I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
  • He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
  • I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
  • When chemists die, they barium.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognised me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
  • They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a type-O.
  • PMS jokes aren't funny. Period.
  • Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
  • We are going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.
  • row versus wade
    not-so-dry humor
  • Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
  • When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.
  • Broken pencils are pointless.
  • I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
  • What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
  • England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
  • I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.
  • I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
  • I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • Velcro, what a rip off!
  • A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
  • Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
  • What is the purpose of reindeer? It makes the grass grow, sweetie.
  • The earthquake in Washington obviously was the government's fault.
  • Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
  • Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.
  • Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
  • Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?
  • sturgeon general: smoking is dangerous to your health
    hooked on smoking
  • Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
  • A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
  • A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumour.
  • Without geometry, life is pointless.
  • When you dream in colour, it's a pigment of your imagination.
  • Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
  • A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
  • Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
  • What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)
  • A backwards poet writes inverse.
  • In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.
  • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  • Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
  • Doctors tell us there are over seven million people who are overweight. These, of course, are only round figures.
  • There were two ships. One had red paint, one had blue paint. They collided. At last report, the survivors were marooned.
  • The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up and asked, "Did you get my drift?"
  • Where do you find giant snails? On the ends of giant's fingers.
  • Why is Saudi Arabia free of mental illness? There are nomad people there.
  • robber with lute
    a robber's toon
  • When I was in the supermarket I saw a man and a woman wrapped in a barcode. I asked "Are you two an item?"
  • When she told me I was average, she was just being mean.
  • A duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. "Four bucks," says the bartender. "Put it on my bill," says the duck (sadder Budweiser).
  • A dog with his leg wrapped in bandages hobbles into a saloon. He sidles up to the bar and announces "I'm lookin' fer the man who shot my paw."
  • A termite walks into a bar and says "Is the bar tender here?"
  • Four fonts walk into a bar. The barman says "Hey get out! We don't want your type in here!"
Renderings of the picture puns are the copyright or intellectual property of their respective owners.

27 February 2012

What's In A Word?


by Fran Rizer

The young lady farded before leaving to meet the new man she'd met on the Internet.

She hoped he wasn't a grinagog. After all, she'd met one of those the previous night, and it had become a kankedort. That's why she'd chosen to make this a jentacular date, hoping it wouldn't turn out to make her niddick quiver.

The last man had been ambisinistrous, though eumorphous. Unfortunately, he'd insisted on going to a new restaurant and ordering for her. The spitchcock had almost gagged her. It was even covered with shitake. When she'd complained, the man insisted she taste his scrod. She thought it was quisquilious and certainly hadn't want to osculate with the man after he'd stared at her glabella and complained that his coccyx hurt after they'd run into a friend of his who debagged him.



Well, what do you think? Did you understand that brief scenario or did it make you want to run for the dictionary? Did you think parts of it might even be a bit "blue" or off-color? Unless your normal vocabulary far exceeds mine, you may have misinterpreted some of it.

Through the years, I've met writers who like to pull out every ten-dollar word they know when writing. I'm not referring to the jargon specific to a subject, just the habit of using a long, lesser known word when a regular old two-dollar word will do. A friend who wanted to critique each other's writings told me, "I want every paragraph to have a word that the reader has to look up in the dictionary."

I laughed and said, "Then I don't want to read what you're writing. Fiction should entertain, and unless you explain those words in context, I don't want to read what you write."

Unless I'm writing an instructional article, I try to write so the average adult reader will understand what I'm trying to say. I've been told that my Callie Parrish mysteries are great "Beach Reads," because they are easy reading. That comes naturally because I spent over thirteen years teaching fifth grade, so I tend to write on about a fifth-grade level in vocabulary. That doesn't worry me a lot because most newspapers are now written below fifth-grade level.

I used to "collect" unusual words though I don't use them in normal speech, nor in fiction. (Not even in the serial killer novel, which is a different style from Callie.) In case I've collected a few words you haven't, I'll give you these for your edification:

  • fard - to put on excessive makeup
  • grinagog - person who grins a lot
  • kankedort - an awkward situation
  • jentacular - related to breakfast
  • niddick - nape of the neck
  • ambisinistrous - clumsy, opposite of ambidextrous
  • eumorphous - well formed
  • splitchcock - a special way of cooking eel
  • shitake - a kind of mushroom
  • scrod - young cod fish
  • quisquilious - like garbage
  • osculate - kiss
  • glabella - facial area between the eyebrows
  • coccyx - bottom bone of the spine
  • debag - to pull someone's pants down as a joke

Until we meet again… take care of YOU.