Monday Metaphors: Puns Take off

Puns and take offs crack me up. They’re everywhere. It seems that we’re hardwired to make the associations of pictures or words or sounds or whatever that lead right into the take off. Comics who do the funny papers are especially adept at puns and take offs, and they do it in the most succinct manner and often simply visually. This is why my newspaper is all cut up.

Here are some of my favorites:

Hi and Lois. Cell phone rings. Boy one: Another message from Maggie? Second boy: She sends them all day; she’s my “tweet-heart.”

Mother Goose and Grim. Two vampires sitting in a bar. One says: I’ll meet you tonight at high moon.

Pickles. Kid: Where are you going, Grampa? Grampa: I’m going on a jabberwalky. Kid: what’s a jabberwalky? Last frame: Grampa has to listen to Gramma jabbering endlessly.

Frank and Ernest. Frank and Ernest are snorkeling and come upon a sign: “Welcome to Atlan tis”   Lying on the ocean floor is a letter “N”.  Frank says, “Look, Ernie! It’s the lost consonant of Atlantis!”

Message on t-shirt: Dijon Vu; the same mustard as before

Another t-shirt: Relish Today. Ketchup Tomorrow.

Cosmetics commercial:  “See spots run.”

Can you hear Meow? A takeoff on the commercial: Can you hear me now?

Gator Raid = a picture on the wall of a restaurant in Gainesville, FL, of the Gator football team whomping another team.

For swine flu you need oinkment. For bird flu you need tweetment.

Jessica, my granddaughter, and I were talking about the magazine Scientific American. I asked her if she knew anything about “quarks.” She said, “It’s a quarky world we live in.” August 18, 2011

Book titles are good sources for puns

Lucienne Diver’s book is titled Fangtastic

Peter E. Abresch’s book is titled The Faltese Malcom

Graeme Smith’s book is titled Comedy of Terrors

Bennett W. Goodspeed wrote: The Tao Jones Averages: a Guide to Whole-Brained Investing  

In The Weaver by Kia Strand  (Ch. 11) Abigail Wordsmith says, “Good morning eager weavers.”

James Joyce’s biographer says of Ulysses: Much of the wordplay in the book stems from the use of multilingual puns. . .

I haven’t read this book by John Pollack, but I hope to some day: The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics.

This last is an exchange between two writers whom I admire:

July 8, 2011

Carolyn Howard-Johnson responded to a post on Virginia Grenier’s blog, The Writing Mama

 (the blog was about fractured fairy tales):

Virginia, I think a little wackiness helps with writers stress (it’s a little like writers’ block!). I always end my Sharing with Writers newsletter with a pun. They fit because puns are considered one of the highest forms of language and my readers are all authors–that is they–by definition–have to work with language.

Best, Carolyn

I agree with Carolyn that puns are an elevated form of language. My own story, “Gum-Fight at the Circle K Quick Stop,” is a take-off on the famous gun fight at the OK Corral.

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