Wit and Wordplay
In my previous website, posted from 2003-2013, I had a section entitled "Billphorisms." That word, I soon discovered, didn't communicate clearly with people. It was meant to suggest, in a somewhat cute way, "aphorisms" coined by "Bill" (i.e., me), but I think the meaning was lost on many. The word "aphorism," along with its near neighbors "adage" or "maxim" or "epigram," has largely dropped out of our communication. But the phenomenon persists, and now I am calling it "word and wordplay."
I posted more than 500 "Billphorisms" on that site. Here I take over some of them and add many more. My division below is as follows: a) Basic; b) Sophisticated; and c) Dated. The first category is on this page, and the others on the next page. I include the last category because it shows that what perhaps was relevant culturally fifteen years ago has quickly faded, along with the faint laughter from it. Several of these statements aren't intended to be humorous; you have to decide which ones fit that category.
A. Basic Wit/Wordplay
"The Eagles were celebrities.There ain't no way to hide their lionize."
"I was disturbed that my New Hampshire friend took everything for granite."
(Added 2/17/2020; my autobiography, in a nutshell): "Read one language slowly at age 15, you are a moron. Read twenty languages slowly fifty years later, you are a genius."
(Added 2/15/2020): "What do you have when a cow runs over you? An e-MOO-gency."
"The teacher eagerly described the up-and-down history of the yo-yo."
"HIGH SCHOOL VALEDICTORIAN: the one who has best endured boredom."
"Are Georgia municipal judges properly called Justices of the Peach?"
"Carl Linnaeus (1707-78), the Father of Taxonomy, wrote five autobiographies in his lifetime. The only thing he couldn't classify, apparently, was himself."
"I recently visited the Oregon Coast. Signs on the beach warned me to beware of "Sneaker Waves." Sure enough, within minutes, up washed a used pair of PF Flyers."
"The student turned in a poor paper. His performance was simply abdominal."
"What she didn't count on when she landed her professorial position was that there was so much acidemia in academia."
Sign in front of church: "Totally blessed." Sign in front of spa: "Totally blessed." Sign in front of bar: "Totally blitzed."
"After associating with many people who just didn't get it, she thought that rather than shrinking, the Bozone layer was thickening."
"If the BYRDS had really been the BIRDS, their song might have been 'Tern, Tern, Tern.'"
"Moral purity is a mirage."
"As one Pawpaw tree said to another: 'How's it hangin'?"
"What we really need are permiscive rather than permissive parents--permiscive parents would know how to "mix" things that come their way to the advantage of their children.
(Words heard by a geologist after finding a rare rock), "Holy Schist!"
"Digging Up the Body of Jack Benny would be an EXHUMORATION."
"GREED: need for green."
"After employee revolt, feverish outbreaks, and general commotion among the workers, the executive concluded that he had on his hands a staff infection."
"A sure sign that people have lost their creative ability is when they say they always think outside the box."
(A sexual primer on New York State geography): "First you come to Howe CAVERNS, then go to the FINGER LAKES, and finally you end up in VIAGRA Falls."
With names like Steensma and Zylstra how could they not be, er, indutchrious?"
"Was Obi Wan Kenobi a Man of Pallid Visage?"
Would an academic emphasis on studying the function of "a, e, i, o, and u" in English properly be called a 'VOWEL MOVEMENT'?"
(Thoughts on watching college students): "You can tell which season of the year it is by who is on crutches. If the hulking guys are on crutches, it is the Fall; if lithe guys and girls are on crutches it is the Winter; if no one is on crutches it is Spring, because baseball players are smart enough to avoid contact with objects or other people at all costs."
(More thoughts on watching college students): "September and October is the time for LAPS (since they are always outside in each other's laps); November is the time for WRAPS (since it is getting colder) and November and December is the time for MAPS (as they frantically put outlines together for finals). The new year reverses this. January, with interterm, is theme for more MAPS, February and March for WRAPS and then, in April and May, they are back on each other's LAPS again. Anytime of the year, however, is a great time for NAPS."
"The shirt my friend bought me for Christmas really ENHANDSOMES me."
"My friend advised me to join a group of really smart people. She thought its name was menses."
"A friend of mine suggested I visit the Cranberry Museum of Southwest Washington, but frankly, I didn't want to get bogged down."
"That same friend wanted me to go to the Barbed Wire Museum in La Crosse, KS, but I refused, because I didn't want to get hung up there."
[Words spoken by mother to teen-ager who keeps staring at him/her face in the mirror] "Will you please stop nasal gazing?"
"The restaurant patrons were surprised to receive a dousing of water from the waiter. When asked to explain himself, he said that he merely wanted to 'wet their appetite.'"
"A friend was wearing a Whitman College tee shirt. The mascot/nickname of Whitman is the 'Missionaries.' They are the 'Whitman Missionaries.' So my question to him was, 'What is the Missionary position on the Iraq War?'
"Before Dr. Bonebrake, the anatomist, could remodel his office, he had to take all his skeletons out of the closet."
"If Wesley Snipes is convicted of tax evasion, will he become Wesley Swipes?"
"I became suspicious when the apartment complex manager advertised specious rooms."
"And then there's the story of the turf wars in the Intermountain Grass Growers Association.."
"At the funeral of the famous crossword puzzle guru, the pastor solemnly intoned that they would be burying him six feet down--and three across."
[Imagined Sign Outside of a Medical Office] "Breast Enhancement Clinic: Create a Mammary.."
"I heaved a sigh of relief when my friend said that her optometrist had his doctoral degree from the University of EYEOWA."
(this may belong in "Sophisticated") "At the State Fair two women won important contests: Brie won the artisan bread-making contest, and Limpa was victorious in cheese-making."
"After Detroit lost to the Miami Heat in the first game of the Conference Championships,
They became the Detroit Pissed-Offs"
"Definition in an imagined psychological dictionary: 'Assolescecne: The stage between childhood and adulthood.' Footnote: some authors add an 'h' after the second 's'."
(My autobiography in a nutshell), "I suffer from the disease of terminal clarity."
"If Caesar had guided the Irish, would he have crossed the Rubicund?"
Entry in Dictionary of Islamic History and Pharmacological Terms: "Alprazolam--Famous Anxious Abbasid Caliph"
"REMISS: A Divorced Woman"
"MERRILL LUNCH: A Major Financial Services Firm, Over the Noon-Hour"
[On the ironies of memorization] "If you tell people you spend time memorizing things they say, 'What a waste of time!' If you demonstrate the fruit of memorization they say, 'What a genius!'"
[A new disease, caught especially by "Inside the Beltway" Legislators] "Capital Tunnel Syndrome"
"I wonder if Bach had lived in the 21st century whether his famous work would have been called AIR IN A G-STRING?"
"My belly-dancer friend placed at the top of her class at the NAVEL ACADEMY."
The best way for teacher to relate to students] "Give them A WAY, but don't give them AWAY."
"After much reflection, he still could not make up his mind whether or not to enter Indiana University's doctoral program in decision science."
"She got into chemistry because she liked the idea of bonding."
[Reflecting on the study of Sanskrit, which I began in 2010]: "I love languages, the deader the better..."
"He knew his ministry among prostitutes was doomed to failure when the first hymn they asked him to sing was, 'All the Way My Savior Leads Me.'"
"He knew his ministry among paraplegics was doomed to fail when the first hymn he had them sing was 'Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.'"
He thought his calling was to minister to narcissists when hundreds showed up to the conference entitled "It's All About You." His hopes were dashed the next year, when no one showed for "It's All About Them."
"My friend's first wife, Letha, almost killed him. If he hadn't have said, "What the "L", she might have been successful."
"PROWESS: the front of a boat with a feminine name."
[Heard in an adult education classroom] "We hope our plans come to fluition.' My comment: It is nice to run into someone who is fruent in English."
"Though his girlfriend loved the pointed arches and ribbed vaults of the Gothic Cathedrals, he absolutely fell in love with her FLYING BUTTOCKS."
[Printed at the bottom of a Menu in an Oregon Restaurant]: "Parties of 8 or more will be charged a gratitudy of 18%."
"FLYING WEDGIE: An old football play, where players with very tight pants tucked into their buttocks lock arms and run furiously in a v-shaped formation."
[On middle-age dating] "Because she didn't pronounce her words clearly, I couldn't understand when she spoke to me whether she was looking for a soul-mate or a cell-mate."
"He tried for years to show himself as an idiot savant, but unfortunately most peopl only got to the first word."
[Words spoken by an angry 19th century explorer to his colleague as they were surveying the Northern Arizona mesas] "If you don't shut up, I am going to kick your butte."
"Denial is neither a river in Egypt, a town in Nevada, or a mountain in Alaska."
''PARKMA: The uncanny ability to find a parking space in crowded urban environments.'"
"If Glen Campbell had been a geologist, would his song have been called 'Like a Limestone Cowboy'?"
[Imagined Sign on US 280, outside of San Francisco, at Colma CA] "If you lived here, you'd be dead now."
"If a person is shot while canoeing down a peacefully-flowing river, would the crime be listed as a GLIDE-BY SHOOTING?"
"Would it be accurate it characterize bird droppings on one's head as a FLY-BY SHOOTING?"
"YOURUBE: Website where a hick or redneck uploads a video on the internet."
"YOULUBE: Changing Your Oil Yourself."
"In the Fall, during hunting season, the statesman became civet-minded."
"Too many Greek salads and fine wine gave him a strong case of feta alcohol syndrome."
"The money-oriented father thought his child was a financial whiz when the first word dad believed he heard from son's mouth was 'Google.'"
"Title of a Person in Authority Who Always Wrecks Your Plans: YOUR THWARTSHIP."
"Bill Walton--the only sportscaster who has to retract his words BEFORE he speaks them."
"When the Grim Reaper got his prey, he heaved a scythe of relief."
"May we Call the Rigors of Breast Enhancement Surgery the School of Hard Knockers...?"
[Motto of the America's Cup Sailing Competition] "Ketch me if you can."
[Imaginary Newspaper Story]: "Dr. Tiffany, a clinical psychologist, will speak on how to have successful martial counseling."
[The symbol of the Olympic Games, for those who delight in expectoration]: "The eternal phlegm"
[A fast spit-ball pitcher] "A phlegm-thrower"
"After Rajon Rondo recorded a career-high 24 assists for the Boston Celtics on 10/29/10, I wonder if his teammates will now call him 'Help me Rondo..'"
"Mahler's 7th: The Full Employment Act for Symphony Musicians"
"The backpackers from Reyjkavik were caught acting in an OUTLANDIC way."
(May belong in Sophisticated): "Are Professors at UC Santa Cruz: Limacine Liberals."
'Pho-Magnon Man--a Noodle-thin Human Ancestor Found in Ancient Viet Nam.'"
"After sculpting the entablature on a brisk and windy day, the artist shivered and said, 'I'm friezing.'"
"When the optometrists voted at their convention, the eyes always had it."
"SPHINCTERGATE: the scandal of which gay person is sleeping with another gay person."
"The Latest TV Game Show: 'Stump the Arborist.'"
"George Washington on the Cherry Tree Incident: 'But, dad, it really was an axident.'"
"Sign 50 feet away from the entrance of a nearby hospital: PATIENT PARKING"
"So, would a sign 20 feet away from entrance of same hospital be: 'IMPATIENT PARKING'"?
[Rejected Title of 1994 Movie] "Forrest Gumption"
"Now I know why there is all the interest among Primate taxonomists in DNA research on primates. They want to figure out which one committed the crime."
"If one tried to hybridize a fuchsia and a yew, would you have a FUCHYEW?"
"In the several votes of Christ Episcopal Church vestry, sitting under the Taxus baccata, the tree which adorns thousands of Anglican Churches in England, the yews always carried the day."
"When we saw her laughing her way all the way to 100 years of age, we recognized her longlevity."
"If someone becomes lost in outer space, the only thing left to do is to write the orbituary."
"Well, here comes the Androgyne family, with their children Pat, Kevin and Leslie."
"What he loved about his drinking friend was how BUNG-HO he was..."
"LEONARD SEPOY: Spock's Cousin from India."
"Would the town fathers of the Nevada municipality of Pahrump be rightly called 'Pahrumpapas?'"
"What most people don't know is that the various ethnic groups in Mali have historically been identified with certain professions. For example, three of them are the Bambara, the Fulani and the Bozo.The Bambara have historically been farmers, the Fulani have been herders, and the Bozo, of course, have been clowns."
"At the retirement party for John Q. Hoover, vacuum salesman, he was asked how he would characterize his professional life, in a few words. His response, 'It sucked.'"
"If they planned to build an aquarium next to a Lowe's Department Store, would the area then be known as Lowe's and Fishes?"
Suggested motto for the next DSM manual]: "For Every Person--A Disorder."
"He was unavailable to join his ex for any dates in October, but he was game for a Thanksgiving dinner."
(From an actual legal case), "A male worker wrote a sexually harassing letter to a female co-worker. Among other things, he said he was in 'TERM OIL' over her. After she sued him he was, I think, in more than 'TERM OIL.'"
A 1, OREGON HUMOR 1
"Did you hear that the two tiny Eastern Oregon towns of Dufur and Rufus have decided to consolidate into one town. Its name? DUFUS."
OREGON HUMOR 2
"The People of Oregon ought to be glad that there is no mountain named 'One-Fingered Jack.'"
OREGON HUMOR 3
"If prominent Christian hymnologist Ruth C. Duck moved to Eugene, OR, would she have to change her name to Bea A. Duck?"
OREGON HUMOR 4
"Oregonians In Action was formed a few years ago to deal with land use issues because they perceived a problem with Oregonians' inaction."
OREGON HUMOR 5
"Dictionary definition of GEODUCK: "a large edible clam."
My definition of GEODUCK: "a well-grounded University of Oregon student."
"When Sam Hill (1857-1931), who built the marvelous Maryhill Museum/house overlooking the Columbia River, was out building his roads as leader of the Washington State 'Good Roads' movement early in the 20th century, his wife often wondered where in the Sam Hill he had gone.."
[Actual or imagined examples of Spoonerisms, Malapropisms, and Other Memorable Sayings]
(from a Kansas preacher), "We must remove the scrounge of racism."
(tribute at an awards ceremony), "He is more than the ultimate. The only word for him is penultimate."
(concerning story-telling abilities of older people), "Well, Elmer is now in his anecdotage."
(imagined), "He went beyond the call of duty in performing meretricious service."
(when loss of memory comes), "I hear grandma is developing Old Timer's disease."
(said to me by someone who was impressed with my memory capabilities ), "So are you saying you have a photogenic memory?"
A 2 (Actual Names of People in Actual Jobs, mostly):
"A Justice on the King's Bench, England, in the 1610s: Justice Crook"
"A dentist in Oregon: Dr Payne"
"A funeral director: Mr Coffin"
"A paver of roads: Mr Street"
"An airline pilot: Captain Kirk"
"A chiropractor: Dr Popp"
"Partners in business: Mr Ketchum and Mr Cheatham"
"An orthopedic surgeon: Dr Bonebrake"
"An obstetrician: Dr Hyman"
"A spelunker: Ms Cave"
"The famous obesity researcher: Dr Ima Hogg"
"The noted pelologist: Dr Mudd"
"The evangelist: Justin Time"
"The foreign language instructor: Dr Rosetta Stone"
"The horticulturalist: Dr Garden"
A 3 [My advice to high-school students still undecided about which college they should or shouldn't attend]
"Depressed people will want to avoid DOWNER COLLEGE (WI);
"Trichotillomaniacs will end up at TUFTS UNIVERSITY (MA);
"Mountain climbers will want to avoid SLIPPERY ROCK STATE U (PA);
"Elvis aficionados will want to attend GRACELAND COLLEGE (IA);
"Students of pelology will attend HARVEY MUDD (CA);
"Butchers and candlestick makers will avoid BAKER U (KS);
"Descendants of Dracula will be welcome at TRANSYLVANIA U (KY);
"Anarchists should do their best to try to avoid the various CONCORDIA colleges;
"SCHOLARS should consider entering RHODES U (TN);
"Those with a pro-British spelling inclination should go to CENTRE COLLEGE (KY);
"Future locksmiths should attend YALE U (CT);
"Students with bad teeth should consider going to COLGATE U (NY);
A 4 [Metaphors that Don't Quite "Work"]
"Let's Get Down to Brass Roots..."
"A Koan: Imagine the Sound of One Tree Falling.."
"He Didn't have a Pissoir to Pee in.."
"The Grass is Always Greener On The Fence.."
"He Painted Himself Into A Pickle.."
"The game was really close, a real cliffdweller."
A 5 Religious Humor
(Reflection on Jesus' Words): "Man does not live by bread alone. He needs cliches."
(Paraphrasing Jesus' Words): "Wherever two or three are gathered, there is politics."
(Reflection on teaching at an Evangelical College): "The college was too inadequately Funded and too adequately Fundied."
"If Jesus' condemner had been into aerobics, would his name have been PONTIUS PILATES?"
(In honor of my yoga-practicing friends), "If only Job had learned to breathe deeply. Hmm. . . There goes the most eloquent statement of human loss in Western literature. . ."
[A Divine bumper-sticker, based on Job 38:8, and reminiscent of the "Arms are for Hugging" stickers of the 1980s and 1990s]: "Wombs are for Extruding."
"And then there's the bimbo who decided to become a Christian because she heard the preacher tell her, 'Henceforth, you shall be catching men.'"
"And then there's the story of the Bimbo who wanted to become a Christian because she heard of the seminar the pastor would leading on 'the Dating of Daniel.'"
[Reflection on Acts 5:1-11]: "I wonder if Ananias' wife was drop-dead gorgeous..."
[How to know whether or not your pastor is in cahoots with Big Pharma] "If s/he recites the Lord's Prayer and slips up as follows: 'Give us this day our daily MEDS..'"
[Words before prayer, spoken by the Rev. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, as they were just about to fleece their gullible listeners of millions of dollars] "Let us prey..."
Sign in Upper West Side Neighborhood: "No honking: $350 fine." MY COMMENT: "Even if you love Jesus?"
[An interpretive reading of I Cor. 13:2] "And if I have pathetic powers..."
"Directions to an ancient English Church: Where the yew is, there you are."
[Rumination on Martin Luther]: "Scintillate Boldly"
"If, in fact, God numbers all our steps, does He suffer from arithmomania?"
"If, in fact, God numbers the hairs on our head, is He a tricharithmomaniac?"
"So moved was she in reading Psalm 116:8 that she burst into tears."
"According to the Four Spiritual Laws [a publication put out by Campus Crusade for Christ, now called Cru, beginning about 50 years ago], 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.' But here is the question: 'If God had a rataplan for your life, would you be marching to the beat of a different drummer?"
[News Flash! An ancient Palestinian text was just discovered, a text that seemed to be a sort of "first draft" of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Let's listen in to Jesus' words...]
"Consider the trailing begonias of the field.... No, that can't be right!"
"Consider the azaleas of the field....Hm...better."
Then there was a several line break in the text and we resume, with Jesus seeming to address Simon Peter:
"Shut up, Peter! I am doing the best I can!! You try to come up with a gnomic statement every once in a while and you will see how difficult it is!"
"In a Bed & Breakfast near Mendocino, CA, where I recently stayed, the cleaning woman, named Aura, left an envelope in which I could leave a tip if I desired. I decided to leave a generous tip. This would motivate her to clean even harder, I thought. Would her name then become AURA LABORA?"
"Reginald Heber thought that Greenland's Icy Mountains witnessed to the Rock of Ages; Ice-core stratigraphers think Greenland's Icy Mountains witness to the Age of Rocks."
"Jesus told his disciples to go into their closet to pray; in the 1970s people started coming out of the closet. Does anyone ever wonder what happened IN the closet?"
[Imagined Typo in Program for Handel's Messiah] "Then shall the eyes of the bling be opened.."
"I wonder if the Rev. Mr. Spooner ever called God his 'fock and rortress.'"
"The choir had to truncate its piece so that it became known as the Kyrie Elision."
[False Mapquest Directions] "Then you turn left at the cylindrical building, the Foursquare Church"
"When Jesus said that even stones would shout out if people were forbidden from praising him (Luke 19:38-40), was he talking about possible Shouts Of Glebe?"
[Reflection on Ps. 71:6] "The Psalmist says [to God], 'Upon thee I have leaned from my birth'"
"Why wouldn't God respond, 'When are you going to start standing on your OWN two feet?'"
[Words said by Jerome's mother in the 5th century to stop him from swearing] "Jerome, please stop being so VULGATE!"
[Advent Follies] "And then the choir belted out the third verse of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem.'"
[Imagined coversation after John, Jesus' disciple, has just written The Book of Revelation]:
JOHN: "Hey, you other disciples, I just saw some heavy-duty stuff. Dragons and women on thrones and plagues and horses. I am, like totally blown away."
OTHERS: "John, don't get so upset. It's not like it's the end of the world...."
[Title of a best-seller I am planning to write--in the future--on the Song of Solomon]
"The Purpose-Driven SEX Life"
[On the rigors of becoming a nun in our day]: "I hear it's a real bear to join the Ursuline order."
[The lagoon out of which Evangelicals originally emerged]: "The Bay of Fundy"
"The priest, who always wanted an aviation ministry, was delighted that he was assigned to the Sacramental Airport."
"Eliphaz's view of God--'Inscrutable'
Job's view of God--'I'm-screwed-by-you'"
"And then there is the story of the 'reNouwened' Belgian Priest and Spiritual Writer...Henri"
"When his Mennonite brethren helped him rebuild his destroyed outbuildings and other farm structures after the storm, Zeke Yoder felt as if he was BARN AGAIN."
(words from a turban-clad preacher): "Sikh the Lord while He may be found."
(Paraphrase of the Sixth Commandment): "There is no occasion for occision."
"Catachresis is the wrong word for religious and moral instruction."
[Not a National Best-Seller]: "The Purpose-Driveled Life"
[What a person far too concerned about his/her clothes really hears when Galatians 2:20 is read]
"I have been sprucified with Christ, yet I live."
[Sign on office building]: "Due to a Conflict, the Peacemaking Workshop has been cancelled."
"Whenever I buy mustard, I follow the Gulden Rule"
"After being berated by the Fundamentalists for not following biblical principles, the District Attorney finally lost his cool, arrested them, and charged them with several counts of TEXTUAL HARASSMENT.
"If the Rev. Dr. Noel became pastor at the First Baptist Church, would he also be known as 'First's Noel?'"
"If the author of Ecclesiastes had white hair, would he have begun the work with 'Canities of Canities'"?
[Two priests overheard engaging in a heated argument in the very front of the Cathedral. One said...] "You stupid APSE."
[Reading of Ps. 130:7 in the KJV, by one who works in lead]: "For with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plumbeous redemption."
A 6 Favorite Hymns or Songs of Different Groups
The dentist's favorite hymn, "Crown Him with Many Crowns"
The Aryan Nation's favorite Christmas Carol, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"
The gardener's favorite Christmas Carol, "When Shepherds Watched their Phlox by Night"
The gemologist's favorite hymn, "The God of Abram prase..."
The Hematologist's Favorite Hymn: "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood..'"
The Physical Therapist's Favorite Hymn: "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!"
The favorite hymn of Christians who grumble? "Amazing Grouse"
A 7 On Literature
"Dante is daunting, but you can always hit it out of the park with Homer."
"Some may consider Euripides a minor playwright, but no one says Aeschylus Smeschylus."
"Job is a real job."
(A drywaller's favorite A C Doyle story): "The Spackled Band."
"When God speaks to Job in Job 38, He brings him into his "hyperbolic chamber."
"The literary critic was delighted to land a position in Synecdoche, New York."
[Line attributed to Julius Caesar's Resident Chemist] "There is a nucleotide in the affairs of men..."
"After describing sibilants, plosives and other technical terms of linguistics, the linguist decided to try for a title that would make his book a best-seller. He chose: OUT OF AFFRICATES."
[Reflecting on Alice Walker]: "When I am Old, I will use the Pluperfect."
"After I read Robert Alter on the Book of Job, I knew I had to change my perspective."
"Young people should read Juvenal."
"Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite--certainly an emphatic apophatic theologian."
[Reflecting on Simonides' definition of Justice from Book 1 of Republic, from the perspective of a hairdresser]: "To give every one his do."
"And then there's the sad story of the grammarian who overdosed on MORPHEMES."
"Matthew Arnold could speak of us as inisled, in our 'islands' of loneliness; I think it is more accurate to speak of our culture as 'inaisled' at Walmart, Target, WinCo, Costco..."
"After studying Shakespeare a while, you realize how BARDACIOUS he was."
"She spent so many years going round and round at Oxford that instead of feeling like an Oxonian she felt more like an Ixionian."
"The man called the line of singing birds perching daily on his fence CANOROUS ROW."
"Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who said that man's life in the state of nature was 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,' obviously never lived in the state of nature."
Bernard--a very DEVOTOED Twain Scholar of the Last Generation
[News Flash!] An Apparent First Draft of Aristotle's Prior Analytics has been found. Particularly of interest to scholars is what is probably Aristotle's first attempt at his famous syllogism. It reads:
"ALL MEN ARE MORTALS
SOCRATES IS A FISH
THEREFORE, I AM CONFUSED."
"Can One Say that Famous Old Necklaces are Also Known As Venerable Beads?"
"Those who celebrate the Beat poet and writer Jack, the author of On the Road and other things, are best known as KEROUWACKIES."
"Would a person who says, 'Let us now praise famous eggs,' be an OOLOGIST?"
"If the Tin Woodsman had appeared in Hamlet, might Hamlet have told him, 'Get thee to a STANNERY'?"
"The wild anticipation of children for Christmas gifts: WAITING FOR CADEAU."
"If the author of the famous work An Essay on the Principle of Population grew up in the vicinity of liquid asphalt pits, would he have been called Thomas Maltha?"
"If James Joyce were alive today and writing about the NBA, rather than about Stephen Daedalus, would he entitle a book, The Portrait of Artest as a Young Man?"
"If John Steinbeck had been raised on Highway 96 on the Colorado/Kansas border, his most ambitious novel might have been entited 'East of Eads.'"
[The Belief System of Writers Emigrating from Sri Lanka to Canada]: "Ondaatje recapitulates phylogeny"
[Imagined Book Group of the Future]
MODERATOR: "Ok all, let's come to order. Marcia will be reading from her genetic profile tonight. You can all follow along in your own profile. We will begin at base pair 406,000,001, and only read the first letter."
MARCIA SPEAKS: "Ok, here we go... T, T, G, A, A, T, C, G..."
A gasp went up from the group:
EAGER QUESTIONER: "Did you say 'T' at base pair 406,000,006? My, isn't that about the most exciting thing you have ever heard?"
[Admissions policies of Ethiopian universities in the 1960s]: "Regional universities were Non-Selective, while the National University in Addis Ababa was Highly Selassie."
(to more Wit and Wordplay)