Seasonal linguistic pun

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From quickmeme:

[Tip of the hat to Dan Scherlis.]



8 Comments

  1. sarang said,

    December 24, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Am reminded of this story about Auden’s then-lover Chester Kallman:

    “A visiting New York publisher was telling them that he was bringing out an autobiography of Klaus Mann, and thinking of calling it ‘The Invisible Mann’. No, said Chester (and it’s a joke such as Nabokov would have made), you should call it ‘The Subordinate Klaus’.”

  2. Eric P Smith said,

    December 24, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    True story. My father taught in Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh. Part of his job was assessing students on teaching practice in Elementary Schools. He criticised one such student for jumping straight into a lesson on a new topic without relating it to anything that the children already had experience of. The next time he visited the same student on teaching practice with a class of 10-year-olds, she began the lesson something like this: “Who can tell me anything about Santa Claus? Yes, he comes at Christmas. That’s right. Yes, he brings children presents. Good. Now, today, we’re going to learn about another kind of Claus: the subordinate noun clause.”

  3. Yuval said,

    December 25, 2011 @ 2:56 am

    And one for Hanukka: http://dagesh.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/חנוכה-שמח-מדגש-קל/
    (“each one is a small light, and together we are all a strong light”)

  4. Dan Scherlis said,

    December 25, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    Yuval’s contribution was vandalized by WordPress, but here is the “Noam Chomsky Hannuka Menorah”.

    Thanks for the hat-tip, Mark. I’m honored to contribute, even if it’s merely a groan-worthy pun.

    Can anyone explain why puns cause groans? Or is there already a Language Log thread on the subject?

  5. ProudToBeAMammal said,

    December 26, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    @Dan Scherlis –

    On groans – while we are waiting for an expert opinion –
    there are some interesting answers here:
    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/45067.html

    I shall admit that I used to think that groans were reserved for bad puns only…

  6. rwmg said,

    December 26, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

    I think it was Isaac Asimov who wrote a short story in which jokes were part of an alien experiment on humanity, while puns were native to humanity. Puns elicit groans to prevent them from contaminating the data produced by jokes.

  7. Lane said,

    December 27, 2011 @ 4:51 am

    There’s a newish book, Jokes and the Linguistic MInd by Debra Aarons, that I got myself for Christmas. I’m not sure if it’ll explain why people groan, though. So far it’s more about the theories of competence that explain how we get jokes than it is about why some jokes are groan-producing.

  8. Kevin Casey said,

    December 29, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    And what about the word to describe all those tributaries running off The Nile?
    juve…right, you got it.

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