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Pun and Games: Jokes, Riddles, Rhymes, Daffynitions, Tairy Fales, and More Wordplay for Kids
Richard Lederer
1556522649
July 1996
Paperback
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Card catalog description
An introduction to wordplay, including puns, spoonerisms, riddles, and more.


Transcendental Wordplay: America's Romantic Punsters and the Search for the Language of Nature
Michael West
0821413244
August 2000
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
Nineteenth-century Americans were fascinated by the meanings and origins of words and also loved a good joke. In this impressive work of scholarship, West (English, Univ. of Pittsburgh) explores the intense interest in etymology and verbal jesting that informed the writings of the era's major authors. Well-known passages from classic books are reinterpreted by West to show how they are rife with puns, off-color innuendoes, and jocularity. With his main emphasis on Thoreau and other transcendentalists, West also examines works by Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman. His extensive discussion of early figures in philology and language theory, and their impact upon the American curriculum, is especially noteworthy. Highly recommended for larger collections of literary criticism,...


The Cunning Linguist: Ribald Riddles, Lascivious Limericks, Carnal Corn, and Other Good, Clean Dirty Fun
Richard Lederer
0312318138
November 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Noted linguist Lederer (Anguished English) has a naughty side, which, combined with his unerring archival instincts, makes this collection of wordplays a bawdily noteworthy achievement. As long as one doesn't overdose on more than two chapters at a time (as the author warns one should not), this book repeatedly rewards the open-minded. How about the "poonerism" (that's what Lederer dubs a dirty spoonerism, or juxtaposition of sounds within a word or sentence) that defines call girls as "the lays of our dives" and a bordello as a "toll-cookie house"? Or the list of limericks and the pun-filled "delectable daughter" jokes? Lederer strives to illuminate the "verbal vivacity of our vocabulary and illustrate one of the most astonishing miracles of language-the ability of two or more meanings to occupy the same space...


Art of Comedy Writing
Arthur Asa Berger
1560003243
January 1997
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
Berger (Blind Men and Elephants: Perspectives on Humor, Transaction, 1994) combines some worthwhile generalities with some narrow specifics in this brief book. He ambitiously claims that it "will be of use to anyone interested in humor"?a boast that holds up in his first chapter, as he identifies and analyzes 45 techniques (e.g., comparisons, mimicry, the grotesque) used in dramatic comedies. His bold assertion that there are "no fewer, no more" than 45 techniques, however, begs challenge; for example, he identifies burlesque as a generic term that includes satire (included in his list), as well as travesty and lampoon (not in his list). Berger's other chapters analyze comic techniques in four dramatic classics: Plautus's Miles Gloriosus, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Sheridan's The School for Scandal, and Ionesco's...


Cat's Eye Corner
Terry Griggs
1551923505
April 2003
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-When Olivier is invited to spend the summer with his eccentric grandfather and his even more eccentric third wife, Sylvia de Whosit of Whatsit, at their strange old mansion, Cat's Eye Corner, he knows that he is in for a real and true adventure. And, Olivier is not disappointed, for on his first morning at Cat's Eye Corner, his step-step-stepgramma sets him off on a scavenger hunt to keep him amused. As Olivier forages in and around the seemingly ever-changing mansion in search of all the items on his list, he acquires various odd friends, including a witty fountain pen and a resourceful dragonfly. Together they find all of the items, stop the nasty Mr. Mirrific from rewriting the dictionary and other literary classics, and generally have a grand adventure. This is a cleverly written novel, and the...

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