Posts Tagged ‘language’

In defence of puns

March 7, 2018

It’s a generally accepted practice to groan when someone cracks a pun, and say, “That was awful”.

I wish to defend all punsters. To be able to think of that unexpected link between words quickly, and say it on the spur of the moment, risking being ridiculed for the pun, or not understood at all, takes a certain kind of facility with the language (or more, for multilingual puns).

So could we change this fashion of describing clever puns as “really bad” or “awful”? Yes, cleverness is not as good as kindness or knowledge, but punning is a unique ability which needs more appreciation and less scorn. This is for the many people who have contributed great puns across many fora on social media and in conversations I have had.

Eg. I’d posted a photo of someone using a lollipop to steady his camera; someone called it a lollipod, and another, a lolliprop.

I happen to enjoy puns very much and don’t like groaning when I hear one…I would rather say, “Oh, that’s a good one!”

Advertisements

Skills learnt in childhood:QWERTY typing

November 7, 2017

i belong to an age when children were regularly sent to shorthand and typing classes (it was,indeed, as Salman Rushdie would have put it,
called shorthandtyping). I am still not comfortable typing on a mobile
phone.

We had tests to rate our speed in both. I don’t think I stuck at the
lessons long enough to even get to the numerals row..I quit after the quick
brown fox started jumping over the lazy dog.

But yes,unlike my algebra,geometry and trigonometry, this was one learning that has been very useful.

No one…

January 14, 2015

No one hunts for a job any more. They explore options.
No one does a job anymore. They work in spaces.
No one is creative anymore. They think out of the box.
No one is a spoilt child anymore. They only have developmental issues.
No one is shy any more. They only have social anxiety.
No one is interesting in something any more. They are into it.
No one talks to anyone anymore . They engage with the others.
No one does something from now on. They do it going forward.
No one feels something any more. They have emotional experiences.
No one agrees with you any more. They hear you.
No one understands your point of view any more. They can see where you are coming from.
No one dislikes what I’ve just written. They give me analytical feedback.

Please add your own favourite phrases…

Microbes are insults…

July 23, 2014

My friend Pallavi Singh wrote on FB:

“Aahna, upset with me over something, said with intense emotion – Mamma, you are a GERM!!!!
I suppose our paranoia over children catching infection is sooooo great, they believe these micro-organisms are truly abhorrent! I had a tough time stifling a chuckle!”

To this, a friend of hers. Avi Pratap Singh, responded with some verse from Ogden Nash:

“A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.”

So ofkose I decided to do my own Nashery:

“When for angry denouncement
She looks for a suitable term,
Yet feels it too rude
To call you, outright, a worm…
She’s understood now, that
She can say,”Oh,you GERM!”

KTB gets creative…

September 19, 2013

It’s most enjoyable when children develop their own personalities, and give their own spin to things!

Here’s KTB, singing the original words (with exaggerated expressions, ofkose)

and here’s her positive version:

Rhyme schemes…should one follow rules?

September 6, 2013

I wrote:

Why do I miss you so much?
I don’t know why…I only know
That I miss your voice, I miss the touch
Of our minds…the caress
Of your eyes…
The happiness that no
Other being on earth
Can give me….your worth
Is beyond price.
You are my life…no less.

That rhyme scheme is a never-before heard-0f

abacdebffec

and it’s ten lines, not a sonnet…no category that I know of…

Should one follow the rules of poetry, rhetoric and prosody? Or, when the words flow, should one just pen them, and let them stand as they come into one’s mind (with perhaps minor changes)? I believe, the latter…so I’m letting this stand the way it is.

A poem on the human anatomy

September 2, 2013

A Poem on the Human Anatomy

Where can a man buy a cap for his knee,
Or the key to a lock of his hair?
Can his eyes be called an academy
Because there are pupils there?

Is the crown of your head where jewels are found?
Who travels the bridge of your nose?
If you wanted to shingle the roof of your mouth,
Would you use the nails on your toes?

Can you sit in the shade of the palm of your hand,
Or beat on the drum of your ear?
Can the calf in your leg eat the corn off your toe?
Then why not grow corn on the ear?

Can the crook in your elbow be sent to jail?
If so, just what did he do?
How can you sharpen your shoulder blades?
I’ll be darned if I know – do you?

1-2-3…

July 17, 2013

Here KTB is, counting in Spanish…

Just after I stopped the video, she added, “And then you say, ‘Adios!’…”

Which verb?

July 15, 2013

DSC03389

You’ve seen a Chipping Sparrow;
It’s a common bird, I know.
But if, instead of chipping,
You find the sparrow hopping…
What verb would (with “sparrow”) go?

Names that go together…

July 3, 2013

Some names from the past that just go together…Hall and Stevens (geometry), Wren and Martin (English grammar), Swan and Edgar (shopping in London), Lakshmikant and Pyarelal, Shankar and Jaikishen (Hindi film music) Viswanathan and Ramamurthy (Tamizh film music), Simon and Garfunkel (pop music)….

I read a P G Wodehouse piece where he said that in an attempt to make the most unlikely people the murderers in a mystery book, the author would say the murder was committed by two people who appeared on the first page…Hodder and Stoughton! :)))) Inspired by a friend’s post. Thank you, Vandana Murthy!

For no particular reason, I am posting this picture of bright colours, and this one of black and white, together…just for the contrast!

DSC01616

University City Children’s Center, 010713

DSC01647

Random sighting on a footpath, St.Louis, 010713.