Language, language!

It’s been a week of alarmed buildings and journals under chairs.

On Friday I noticed a sign at a mall in the city: “Warning! This building is alarmed!” Well, if the building was in danger of picking up its skirts and running, or even beginning to wail loudly, I suppose people planning to enter it should be warned. But it made me laugh till I got a stitch in my side, nonetheless. P was not amused. Why is it that very few people are amused by the things I find side-splittingly funny?

Saturday. Someone’s telling me about a Chair that’s being endowed, and says “…and they’re planning to start a journal under the chair…” Sent me into peals of laughter. To be fair, he grinned sheepishly when he realised what I was laughing at.

Set me thinking – what would be the correct construction of what he was trying to say? “..under the auspices of the chair”? How pompous that sounds! Is it because anything to do with academics usually does? Another example of how language constructs and reflects images and self-images?


5 Responses

  1. The joys of conjuring up images of a statement misconstructed or misconstrued (intentionally or accidentally). I’m relieved there’s another person in this world who enjoys it. I’m often charged with nit-picking or over-punny in a case of messed up grammar or preferring the literal interpretation of a figure of speech.
    I know you’re only talking about the former here, but I have a feeling that the latter would appeal to you as well. Wanna start a club?

  2. And call it “Pun Pals”?

  3. Hadn’t thought of a name, but ‘Pun Pals’ is great. So where do we chalk out a plan?

    By the way, have you heard about the guy who submitted ten entries into a pun competition, but when on not winning, a friend asked what happened, he replied, “No pun in ten did.”

  4. Plan? Here. Start a blog, and admit members only when they prove they can meet a certain level of punniness…

    _groan_ on the joke, btb

  5. bit late to reply to this topic..

    comedian bill hicks told a story about how he and some friends dropped acid and drove around in his dad’s car (with a talking feature).
    they were driving around and then the car said, “the door is ajar”. they pulled over and thought about that for 12 hours.. “how can a door be a jar?”. “i dunno, but i see it”. “me too”.

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