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Do you love wordplay? Do malapropisms and misplaced modifiers send you into uncontrollable fits of laughter? Are you personally insulted when someone declares, "A pun is the lowest form of humor"? Tell those ignoramuses (ignorami?) to go home and watch their Three Stooges movies. We word weenies know better!
My goal for this page is not only to share my own love of language humor and my attempts to create it, but to provide a place for my fellow word weenies to share theirs. I welcome additions to any category, suggestions for new categories (Spoonerisms, anyone? How about anagrams?) and links to other fun-with-language sites. Click here for important information and an e-mail link.
OK, let's have some fun!
Tom Swifties and Croakers: Tom Swifties are those all-too-appropriate juxtapositions of action and adverb, as in "We have to move fast," said Tom swiftly. Croakers are Tom's shirttail cousins, which have the pun in the verb. They're named after the most famous one: "I'm dying," he croaked.
Misunderstood lyrics: Today's mushmouthed musicians can be hard to understand, with uproarious results!
Sign language bloopers: Every language has its malapropisms, including American Sign Language. This is a collection of true anecdotes about how the wrong sign led to giggles and red faces!
News Goofs: "Teacher strikes idle kids." "Red tape holds up new bridge." "Carter plans swell deficit." Hilarious headlines and other oopsies.
Cool links for word weenies (more to come)
Richard Lederer's Verbivore: He's Attila the Pun! He's Conan the Grammarian! He's king of the word weenies, and he's one of my heroes! Don't miss his language links page!
The Slot: For serious word weenies only! This is the creation of Bill Walsh, a newspaper copy editor by trade with strong opinions on the proper use of Associated Press style, etc. And those opinions are delivered with a healthy sense of humor. Check out the Sharp Points!
Page. A very literate site all about words and the weirdness thereof.
(an example of real low humor)
Hit me with your best wordplay!
here for guidelines.
Tom Swifties and Croakers
"I finished my apprenticeship," he said extraneously.
"Trump runs this place like some kind of Russian monarch," he said sardonically.
"That's one of those women from the teahouse," he said sagaciously.
"Your girlfriend, Teresa, is on the line," she said esoterically.
"His Honor is insane," he said judgmentally.
"I made those changes you wanted to the plans, sir," he said respectfully.
"The register is clogged with dog hair!" she said fervently.
"The appetizer choices are minestrone and tuna salad," he said superficially.
"I'll have the minestrone; I've given up seafood," she said officiously.
"My addiction to eBay will be the death of me," she said morbidly.
"Kenneth was like a brother to me," he said brokenly.
"My pen pal is in a French women's prison," he said laconically.
"I ate too much of that kangaroo steak," he said ruefully.
"We don't pray at the table in this house," she said gracelessly.
"I need a loaner while my wedding band is being repaired," she said despairingly.
"I charge by the stanza," he said perversely.
"This is my second trip to the bog," she said repeatedly.
"I gave him another loan, but it was smaller than the first one," he said relentlessly.
"We'll have our evening meal after the boat docks," she said supportively.
"My shift was canceled," she said unstintingly.
"I sentence the prisoner to death in the electric chair," he said concurrently.
"They got the patient's heart started again," he said repulsively.
"He may be a drunkard, but he's smart," she said quixotically.
"They hauled that former Kelly Girl before the judge," he said extemporaneously.
"Timothy can't control his impulses," she said timidly.
"I am NOT drunk; jusht watch me leave that Chryshler in the dusht," he said passionately.
"Edward, why don't you stop by and let me take your picture?" she said composedly.
"I've become a Rastafarian; what do you think of my hairdo?" he said dreadfully.
"You're asking for trouble if you camp in that ragged old thing," she said portentously.
"I'd have made the high honor roll except for that B in my 11th-period class," she said tenaciously.
"What is your wish, Master?" he said genially.
"Can't another masseuse work on that Steinem woman today?" she said miserably.
"I hoped you behaved yourself on 'Romper Room,' " she said dubiously.
(N.B.: To get this one, you need to know Boston):
"Everybody in the North End thinks that Garson woman was a lousy actress," he said disagreeably.
Send us yours!
Send us yours!
Like these? Click here for more Tom Swifties and Croakers collections!
Kissthisguy.com is the best mondegreen site on the Web.
Amiright.com is updated daily! Click on "new entries" for the latest.
Send us yours and we'll build our own mondegreen page!
Sign Language Bloopers
These are true stories from Deaf World Web in response to a request for folks' most embarrassing moments. Names have been withheld to protect the guilty. Warning: Most are PG-13!
Actually, this first one isn't from DWW; it happened to me. I was attending an ASL program in which we put on skits. In one skit, my part called for me to sign, "I need to sit down." The interpreter/teacher watching dress rehearsal misread my sign for "need" as the sign for "toilet." She came up to me and asked, "What was that about - sit on the toilet?" I was laughing so hard I was afraid I wouldn't be able to deliver the line! Fortunately, nervousness won out over silliness!
I was eating dinner with a group of Deaf friends, and we were talking (in ASL) about what we did during the day. One man asked one of my hearing friends, who was still learning ASL, "What did you do today?" She thought she answered, "I gave three people work today", but she really said, "I gave three people sex today", but she didn't know it :) I had to tell her. Later on, my hearing friend told the same man that she was, "Really hungry", and asked him if he wanted to go get some more food, or so she thought!! She really said that she was, "Really horny"! of course, the deaf man said he would go with her :) I had to chase after them and clear things up. We were all pretty embarrassed, but I'm sure my friend wanted to die!!!
When I was in college, I helped to interpret at a local church. I was very new to interpreting . This one time, I was asked to interpret the announcements and the song service. Someone else took over for interpreting the sermon. I made it all the way through the announcements and the song service thinking I hadn't done too badly for once!! At the end of the service, a deaf man came up to me, with a good sense of humor, and told me that instead of saying that there had been 6 people baptised in the morning service, I had said there were 6 people who had died in the morning service!! Boy was I embarassed!!
I was a participant in a two-day seminar. (The leader) broke everyone down into groups to work on their signs, and most of the parents of hard-of-hearing kids were in one group. We all know each other's kids, so we're pretty comfortable with each other. One sentence we were to practice was, "Let's go to lunch." Well, our group of five or six parents were diligently signing, "Let's go to lunch," when (the seminar leader) hurriedly came over and told us, "Stop! Please! That's wrong!" Evidently, we had been signing, "Let's go to lesbians" rather than "lunch". Our kids' interpreters STILL haven't let us live this one down!
My sign language teacher got up to interpret in her college class and she was telling a story about a man who got up early and went running. She (used the wrong sign) thus saying a man got up naked and went running. The whole class busted out into laughter.
I have been teaching myself sign for a while. When I was smaller, I introduced myself to a deaf group. When it came time to say the formal "Nice to meet you," I accidently brought up my middle finger along with my index finger. Instead of saying what I meant to, I said "Nice to f*** you." I felt very humiliated and immediately apologized when I realized what happened.
Got one? Send it in!
These two are from Yahoo! News.
Concorde bodies found; eyes on black
Dead stars may be "missing mass"
(and Sunday school and High Holy Day services, too, no doubt)
Laurel D. saw this one on CNN.com:
Bush wastes little time exercising
(Her comment: "Brilliant, just brilliant.")
My buddy Jake found this in a Reuters story on abuse of prescription drugs:
"Abusers face short-term health risks such as sudden death."
And from The New York Times, on the selection of Dick Cheney as George W. Bush's running mate:
Looking for a perfect fit,
Bush finds it in Dad's Cabinet
(Hey, Bar, Junior's stuck in the cabinet again!)
This bunch has appeared all over the Net. We need some fresh ones. Check your local paper and send us some!
Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert says
2.Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
3.Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
4.Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
5.Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
6.Farmer Bill Dies in House
7.Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
8.British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
9.Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
10.Eye Drops off Shelf
11.Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
12.Reagan Wins on Budget, but More Lies Ahead
13.Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
14.Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66
15.Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax
16.Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
17.Miners Refuse to Work After Death
18.Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
19.Stolen Painting Found By Tree
20.Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies
21.Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter
22.Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
23.Drunken Driver Pays $1,000 in '84
24.War Dims Hope for Peace
25.If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
26.Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
27.Couple Slain: Police Suspect Homicide
28.Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
29.Deer Kill 17,000
30.Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
31.Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charges
32.New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
33.Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
34.Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
35.Chef Throws His Heart Into Helping the Needy
36.Arson Suspect Held in Massachusetts Fire
37.British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
38.Ban on Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
39.Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees
40.Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
41.New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
42.Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
43.Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
44.Air Head Fired
45.Steals Clock, Faces Time
46.Old School Pillars Are Replaced By Alumni
47.Bank Drive-In Window Blocked By Board
48.Hospitals are Sued By 7 Foot Doctors
49.Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction
50.Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
Here's where we put all the stuff that doesn't fit other categories.
The Importance of Correct Punctuation
(This may have been around the block a few times, but it's new to me)
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Send us yours!
More to come ... Stay tuned!
This page last updated on December 28, 2003
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