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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Playing with Words
Subtitle: Humour in the English Language
Written By: Barry J. Blake

Humour permeates our lives. People tell jokes, make puns, and engage in
witty banter. There is written humour in headlines and captions, in ads, on
signs, t-shirts, and bumper stickers, and in the form of graffiti.
Nowadays humour is available on the web and circulated by e-mail.

'Playing with Words' shows how every facet of language is exploited for
humour. Where a word has multiple meanings or sounds like another, this is
the basis for puns (A boiled egg is hard to beat). The word-building rules
are used for clever compounds, smart blends and catchy phrases as in
'circulated by word of mouse'. Ambiguities in the syntax afford further
scope for humour (Miners refuse to work after death), and the sounds of
words can be exploited in humorous verse. There is also humour to be found
in slips of the tongue, malapropisms, and funny misspellings.

Playing with Words also covers the subject matter of humour and the part it
plays in society. It is an informed account in non-technical language, full
of examples, a book to be read for information and for fun.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1845533305
ISBN-13: 9781845533304
Prices: U.K. £ 10.99
U.S. $ 19.95