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.