Archive for the ‘Language play’ Category

I Can’t Even

July 5, 2015

A follow-up to my posting “That goes without”, on an Amanda Hess piece in the NYT Magazine of 6/14, about the (largely) teenage use of “I can’t even” to convey being rendered speechless by strong emotion. Now to the letters section in the magazine for 6/28, which comes with two Tom Gauld cartoons illustrating reader comments.


The stray bar

July 1, 2015

A cartoon by Dan Reynolds:


A cute pun on gay bar, plugged into the “I didn’t realize this was a gay bar” meme.


Jeffrey Brown

June 29, 2015

On cartoonist Jeffrey Brown and his charming Darth Vader books.



An ebook

June 28, 2015

A cute pun and, with it, a use of the symbol @ in advertising:

A book in the shape of the letter E, not an electronic book (eBook, e-Book, e-book, ebook). Plus the attention-grabbing L@@K, now used on websites offering things for sale or rental (eBay especially, but also Craigslist, home rental sites, etc.).

(The image came to me from Michael Palmer, who got it on Steven Gatke’s Facebook page. I couldn’t trace it back from there — but Gatke has lots of stuff about books and bookbinding.)

Claude Funston thought …

June 28, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with a parody of (part of) Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, from the (mostly political) dreaming mind of Claude Funston:

The parody reproduces the recurring /ɪŋz/ rhyme of the original, once as /ɪŋz/ (the things of the original), three times as /ɪŋ/.



June 27, 2015

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

A subtle pun on bait — understood literally, as in bait for fish, or understood figuratively, as an enticement (in this case to click on a link).


Gay Pride

June 27, 2015

Passed on to me by Paul Foster from a Facebook source:

Rather more adult males than you’d expect in a pride of lions — but then these are gay lions, so they bond with pleasure.

Editorial pun

June 24, 2015

KAL’s editorial cartoons in The Economist are not especially given to word play, but in the current issue (June 20th, p, 9) he deploys a pun:

That’s arms the limbs of the body vs. arms ‘weapons and ammunition’, involved in arms races (arms expansion) as opposed to arms reduction. With a jab at Vladimir Putin as a bodybuilder.

Briefly: bizarro word play

June 23, 2015

Not from Bizarro, but from Dennis Corrigan’s True Love Knows No Boundaries: One hundred amazing, comical, and bizarre drawings; see website here:

(Passed on by a colleague and friend of his.)

A goofy pun on boil, as in bring to a boil ’cause to boil, to be boiled’ vs. the medical noun boil: from Wikipedia:

A boil, also called a furuncle, is a deep folliculitis, infection of the hair follicle. It is most commonly caused by infection by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in a painful swollen area on the skin caused by an accumulation of pus and dead tissue.

Thought balloons

June 23, 2015

In the July 2015 Funny Times (p. 10), a cartoon about cartoon conventions, which I’ll have to describe to you rather than show to you (for reasons I’ll explain).

It shows a man standing by a sidewalk in a park, offering balloons for sale. The placard next to him says


And the balloons are labeled:


each supplying a thought.



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