LINGUIST List 6.507

Wed 05 Apr 1995

FYI: Fun: Connidities: CONNected IDIomatic ambiguiTIES

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  1. Dan Alford, CONNIDITIES: CONNected IDIomatic ambiguiTIES

Message 1: CONNIDITIES: CONNected IDIomatic ambiguiTIES

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 1995 12:29:42 CONNIDITIES: CONNected IDIomatic ambiguiTIES
From: Dan Alford <>
Subject: CONNIDITIES: CONNected IDIomatic ambiguiTIES

About 25 years ago, realizing the power of idioms as the monkeywrench in the
machinery of rule-govered syntax, my UCLA grad buddy Michael O'Brien and
I developed a unique form of humor that relies on multiple ambiguities set up
around whether a phrase is read idiomatically or normally; the ambiguities
multiply when you connect two or three idioms together. You will note that
some of the sentences below can have at least six meanings.

If you enjoy the form and come up with any of your own, my e-mail line is
always open and I will post a summary given enough interest.

BTW -- if anyone has any knowledge of Mike O'Brien's current whereabouts,
I'd appreciate hearing about him, having lost contact for 20 years or so.

Examples of CONNIDITIES:

After shooting the bull for a while, Max gave Slim a bum steer.

Jane didn't beat around the bush when she turned over a new leaf.

Snoopy flew the coop whenever he was down in the dumps.

John went through a hair-raising operation, followed by a few close shaves.

George was on the wagon but Bill wrecked it ...
 ... by driving it into a ditch.
 ... by offering him a drink.
 ... by driving him to drink.

Christopher didn't have a leg to stand on, but he nonetheless ran circles
 around his opponents.

Shirley was hopping mad even though she didn't have a leg to stand on.

Although Jonas isn't in the same league as Andrew, he went to bat for him.

Bill gave Suzie the eye, so she beat it.

Adolph says he's picking up the language fairly easily new that he's
 gotten a chance to sink his teeth into it.

The sergeant instructed me to bite my tongue when I shot my mouth off.

Mortimer lost his shirt after Sol took him to the cleaners.

Everything went to pot after Steve planted the evidence.

When the shit hit the fan, the rock singer was blown away.

They finally let the cat out of the bag after they had put him through the

John's star was rapidly rising, and Mary hitched her wagon to it.

 -- Moonhawk (%-))
 ("The fool on the hill sees the sun going down and)
 (the eyes in his head see the world spinning round")
 (-- McCartney/Lennon)
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