Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tom Swifties

I inherited my love of reading, writing, and wordplay in general from my Mother, who probably inherited it from some other, more distant, relative who would prefer to remain anonymous. Mom could make puns and carry on other word games like no one else I've ever known, and I've tried to keep up her tradition...although in order to do it I've had to get used to everyone starting to groan just on principle whenever I say something.

One of the word games of which Mom was fond was the Tom Swifty - defined as "a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed." A classic (if I can use the word in this context) example would be, "Yes, we have no bananas," Tom said fruitlessly.

I can hear you groaning already.

Last Friday in the office, one of my coworkers passed me a link to the mother lode of Tom Swiftys. Fortunately, it was just a few minutes before quitting time...otherwise I'd have spent all day reading through the list and laughing myself into tears.


Because the news in general is so bad that even a Cartoon Saturday once a week can hardly hold its own against the gloomy tide, here are a few of the ... um ... best Tom Swiftys from the list. You may want to sit down...

"I dropped the toothpaste!" said Tom, crestfallen.

"AARRGGHH! I've just been stabbed in the chest," cried Tom, half-heartedly.

"I like ragged margins," said Tom, without justification.

"That's not a laser!" cried Tom incoherently.

"Wait, I said 'I give up!'" Tom recapitulated.

"You're letting the fire go out," said Tom ungratefully.

"Get into the back of the boat!" yelled Tom sternly.

"Take the prisoner downstairs," Tom said condescendingly.

"I used to command a battalion of German insects," said Tom, exuberantly.

"Behold the power of the Dark Side," Tom said forcefully.

and, saving the best (or the worst, depending on how you look at it) for last...

"I'm into homosexual necrophilia," said Tom in dead earnest.

You can find lots of Tom Swiftys on the Internet, and they're fun to make up yourself. I'm looking forward to the comments this generates. Or maybe not.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Jean-Luc Picard said...

Weird...very weird!

Mike said...

I don't have time right now to go to the dictionary to figure some of these out, so I'll (insert punny word here).

The Mistress of the Dark said...