Archive for the ‘Puns’ Category

Speaking in tongues

May 6, 2021

Specifically, cod tongues. In a brief piece in the Economist‘s April 17th 2021 issue (behind a paywall,alas), p. 46, with the following assortment of headers:

[superheadline] Lip service [on-line] / Norwegian cuisine [in print]

[headine] Fish tongues, a Norwegian delicacy harvested by children [on-line] / Fish tongues, harvested by children [in print]

[subheadline] The piece of cod that passeth all understanding

My focus is that subhead, which is a play — very close to a perfect pun — on the beginning of a verse from the Christian Bible, Philippians 4:7. In the KJV:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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Getting validated

April 24, 2021

A Nathan Pyle (of Strange Planet) cartoon passed on by Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook yesterday:


(#1) JS: This is my reaction every time I use my credit card. I crave the validation.

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Briefly: another April 23rd holiday

April 23, 2021

It’s St. George’s Day (honoring the patron saint of England, and a number of other places too); now Sandra Boynton notes that it’s also Shakespeare Day — traditionally celebrated as his birthday (in 1564), and clearly his death day (in 1616). For the Shakespearean occasion, she provides one of her visual puns:

2 bees oar not 2 bees: “To be, or not to be”

Pig mistake

March 20, 2021

Headline in a brief box story (on Price controls in the Philippines) in The Economist of 3/6/21 (p. 35). An obvious piece of word play: the story is about a big mistake on pigs.

In this brief story (five paragraphs plus a captioned picture), there are five bits of language play: two imperfect puns (the title Pig mistake and the caption The sow must go on, an imperfect pun based on spelling — the show must go on — rather than pronunciation); plus three allusions to formulaic language:

— in the subhead (A) ham-fisted (decree is trampled by market forces)

— in (it will be some time before) those little piggies get to market

— in (If pork adobo … is to remain the national dish, the taxman will need to) go the whole hog

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The Zanzibar carnival

March 14, 2021

From the Economist‘s 2/20/21 issue, p. 39 “Tree trade: Coconut shy”, beginning:

Zanzibar: Why palm trees are driving property moguls nuts

The island of Zanzibar has more than 4m coconut trees, and each one has an owner

There’s a simple and obvious pun in this: in the noun nuts referring to plant products vs. the adjective nuts ‘crazy’.  But then there’s the N + N compound coconut shy (a specifically British item that I was pleased to have recognized), which bears every mark of an Economist playful allusion to a carnival game, but with a play on shy (adjective? the aversive verb?) that bears somehow on fruit tree ownership on Zanzibar. Here I can only report that I don’t get half of the joke.

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Pornstars do this so you don’t have to

March 13, 2021

(All about sex between men, discussed mostly in street language, so totally unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

It started with a mailing yesterday from the NakedSword gay porn folks, advertising the 2021 flick Lake Need, with a reproduction of the DVD cover, on which Johnny Rapid, Jesse Bolton, and Cyrus Stack together perform a complex sex act (69spitroasting) that requires considerable athleticism and agility. The three men carry it off as an aesthetically satisfying arrangement of bodies — until you think about whether you could do it yourself, and realize that this is something much better left to the professionals.

That led me back to an earlier period of Johnny Rapid’s porn career, which included a flick in which he engaged in an equally challenging two-man sex act (Flying Cowboy) with Rafael Alencar, an act that’s both beautiful to look at and deeply intimate, tremendously sexy. But it’s really not something to try at home — again, it’s much better left to the pros.

I put the two images together in an AZBlogX posting “Johnny Rapid” today, which led one of my LiveJournal readers to judge that:

The positions assumed in both of those photos look uncomfortable to the point of impossible.

Well, yes, but that’s what we pay Johnny Rapid and his brothers in porn for. They do it — they realize physically challenging sexual fantasies — so we don’t have to.

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Seeing the Invisible Man

February 21, 2021

Popped up on Pinterest, this Bizarro from 12/13/04:

(#1)

A pun that takes advantage of an ambiguity in see: ‘perceive with the eyes’ (something one does not do with the Invisible Man) vs.sense 4c from the  NOAD see entry:

verb see: … 4 [a] meet (someone one knows) socially or by chance: I saw Colin last night. … [c] meet regularly as a boyfriend or girlfriend: some guy she was seeing was messing her around.

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Hello, sailor

February 16, 2021

(This posting is about (real or fictive) sexual encounters between men, sometimes discussed in street language, so it’s not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Daily Jocks ad from 2/15, under the header:


(#1) With the motor boat emoji (there’s a ferry emoji that might have done the job here, with a bad pun as a bonus)

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The octocrat

February 9, 2021

Yesterday’s (2/8) Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with a pun on autocrat: octocrat, itself a portmanteau of octopus and autocrat:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

To come: notes on the words involved; some facts about octopuses that make them symbolically powerful; the octopus in political cartoons; and Wayno’s title for this cartoon, “Eight Arms to Oppress You”, with its allusion to the Ring verse from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

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The bull validates Peter’s family

February 7, 2021

Three more Bizarro cartoons from the past, from another crop on Pinterest, with: an allusion you need to catch to understand the cartoon; a complex pun; and laugh-inducing names.

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