十一月, 2013 的封存

15. Puns

Posted: 2013 年 11 月 29 日 in Logology

Puns refer to using of a word in such a way so as to suggest two or more meanings or different associations, or the use of two or more words of the same or nearly the same sound with different meanings, so as to produce a humorous effect. It is said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them. By category, there are various types of puns.

  1. 同音同字:Never attack an octopus–they are always well-armed.

  2. 同音異字:Lion: You’re a cheater. Cheetah: You’re a liar.

  3. 字首異音:Most men find, in fact, that divorce is a matter of wife or debt.

  4. 字尾異音:Aerobics is a form of exercise invented to take our breadth away.

  5. 拆字分析:When Zeus banished him to Africa to hold up the heavens, his faithful girlfriend went with him sighing, “Atlas, we are alone!”

  6. 相近發音:A sign on the door of a music store: Gone Chopin. Bach in a minute.

  7. 對比單字Life is a near death experience.

  8. 相關單字:The first nudist convention received little coverage.

  9. 諺語Time is money, especially overtime.

Exercise: Please explain how the following puns result.

  1. At a maternity shop: Closed on Labor Day.

  2. On a plumber’s truck: We repair what your husband fix.

  3. At a New York restaurant: Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manage.

  4. At a gynecologist’s office: Dr. Jones, at your cervix.

  5. At a dental office: Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.

  6. The thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

  7. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

  8. Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

  9. To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

  10. The advantage of speaking another language is you can talk behind someone’s back right in front of their face.

14. Portmanteau words

Posted: 2013 年 11 月 27 日 in Logology

Portmanteau words are words formed by blending the sounds and meanings of two other words, such as motel (motor + hotel), smog (smoke + fog), and brunch (breakfast + lunch).

  1. anecdotage = anecdote + dotage (advanced age that is accompanied by a tendency to reminisce and tell anecdotes)

  2. bacne = back + acne (zits on one’s back)

  3. bromance = bro + romance (a close but nonsexual relationship between men)

  4. cellopane = cell + pain (an annoyingly loud cell phone user)

  5. chatterati = chatter + -ati (talking heads, pundits, columnists, and talk show hosts collectively)

  6. fauxpology = faux + apology (an apology that expresses no responsibility for the desirable outcome)

  7. frankenfood = Frankenstein + food (genetically altered food)

  8. frenemy = friend + enemy (someone who pretends to be a friend but is really an enemy)

  9. gerrymander = Elbridge Gerry + salamander (to divide an area into political units in such a way as to advantage a political party)

  10. jumbrella = jumbo + umbrella (large umbrella over an outside table at a cafe)

  11. lolmate = LOL + soulmate (a person with whom one shares funny e-mails)

  12. ninjury = ninja + injury (an injury of unknown or mysterious origin)

  13. procrasturbate = procrastinate + masturbate (to waste time by masturbating)

  14. prostitot = prostitute + tot (a young girl whose makeup and style of dress make her look like a prostitute)

  15. sexiled = sex + exiled (to be unable to go into one’s room, dorm, or apartment because one’s roommate needs privacy for sex)

  16. stalkumentary = stalk + documentary (a documentary produced by stalking a person)

Exercise 1: Please explain how the following portmanteau words result.

  1. Brangelina

  2. twirl

  3. telethon

  4. flop

  5. flurry

  6. smash

  7. intercom

  8. docudrama

  9. webinar

  10. camcorder

  11. Oxbridge

  12. chunnel

  13. sexploitation

  14. fanzine

  15. informercial

  16. mocumentary

  17. mockney

  18. many

  19. mankini

  20. smirting

  21. televangeilst

Exercise 2: Please coin two portmanteau words of your own.


In general, charades refer to a word guessing game. A typical charade is an acting game in which one player acts out a word or phrase, often by miming similar-sounding words, and the other players guess the word or phrase. The idea is to use physical rather than verbal language to convey the meaning to another party. In the U.K., the game is traditionally played at Christmas and on New Year’s Eve. However, in terms of logology, charades are words that contain sets of words within them by respacing but not rearranging letters, such as together (to + get + her).

  1. across = a + cross

  2. alienation = a + lie + nation

  3. amiable = am + I + able

  4. atrophy = a + trophy

  5. averse = a + verse

  6. barrage = bar + rage

  7. history = hi + story

  8. manslaughter = man’s laughter

  9. mustache = must + ache

  10. nowhere = now + here

  11. psychotherapist = psycho + the + rapist

  12. significant = sign + if + I +can’t

  13. therapist = the + rapist


An alternade is a word in which its letters, taken alternatively in a strict sequence, and used in the same order as the original word, make up at least two other words. All letters must be used, and the shorter words consist of either completely odd-numbered letters or completely even-numbered letters within the parent word (board = bad + or; troupe = top + rue; waist = wit + as). In this way, the term binade is also used. In addition, it is possible to have an alternade using every third letter, as in lacerated (let + are + cad). An alternade is much rarer than a charade (daredevil = dared + evil), which is not made up of alternating letters.


Kangaroo words carry smaller words related in meaning to the parent word in which the smaller word is spelled with successive but not completely consecutive letters.

  1. accustomed → used

  2. acrid → acid

  3. allocate → allot

  4. amicable → amiable

  5. brackets → braces

  6. chocolate → cocoa

  7. contaminate → taint

  8. contradictory → contrary

  9. cozen → con

  10. deception → con

  11. expurgate → purge

  12. fabrication → fiction

  13. facade → face

  14. impertinent → pert

  15. indolent → idle

  16. obligated → obliged

  17. prattle → prate

  18. prosecute → sue

  19. rambunctious → raucous

  20. rapscallion → rascal

  21. reduplicate → replicate

  22. retrogress → regress

  23. satiate → sate

  24. satisfied → sated

  25. tolerate → let

  26. transgression → sin

  27. variegated → varied

  28. yearning → yen

  29. unsightly → ugle

Exercise: Please work out the following kangaroo words.

  1. arena → _____

  2. barren → _____

  3. blossom → _____

  4. clue → _____

  5. dazzle → _____

  6. deceased → _____

  7. destruction → _____

  8. encourage → _____

  9. inflammable → _____

  10. moisture → _____

  11. municipality → _____

  12. precipitation → _____

  13. quiescent → _____

  14. revolution → _____

  15. salvage → _____

  16. shadowy → _____

  17. stocking → _____

  18. scion → _____

  19. supervisor → _____

  20. unanimity → _____

On the other hand, anti-kangaroo words carry their antonyms, such as covert, which contains overt.

  1. animosity → amity

  2. exacerbate → abate

  3. friend → fiend

12. Neologisms

Posted: 2013 年 11 月 24 日 in Logology

Neologisms are newly coined words or expressions. For example, Oxford University Press USA always publicizes certain new words which best represent the trend and atmosphere of the year, such as selfie (2013), omnishambles (2012), unfriend (2009), credit crunch (2008), carbon footprint (2007), and Sudoku (2005).

  1. cheapuccino = inexpensive, inferior cappuccino usually bought from a vending machine

  2. gate rape = phrase for pat downs by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) at airports

  3. hathos = feelings of pleasure from hating someone or something

  4. juvenoia = a baseless and exaggerated fear that the Internet and social trends are having seriously negative effects on children

  5. mouse potato = someone who spends an excessive amount of time on a computer

  6. paperphilia = a preference for reading material that is on paper and not on a computer screen; those individuals are paperphiles.

  7. pity friend = on a social networking site, a person whose friend request you accept out of pity

  8. singlism = workplace discrimination against unmarried employees; the negative stereotyping of unmarried people

  9. smirting = flirting while outside a building to smoke

  10. soul patch = small growth of beard under a man’s lower lip

  11. starting marriage = short, first marriage and divorce ending with no children, no property, and no regrets

  12. tombstoning = jumping or diving into water from a dangerously high perch, such as a tall bridge.

Learn more about Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year (WOTY):

  1. WOTY FAQ: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year-faq/

  2. WOTY 2013: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/11/word-of-the-year-2013-winner/ & http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/11/an-infographic-of-selfie/

11. Pleonasms & Tautonyms

Posted: 2013 年 11 月 22 日 in Logology
標籤:, ,

Pleonasm refers to the use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning.

  1. Idioms: safe haven, tuna fish

  2. Legalese: null and void, each and all, cease and desist

  3. Ignorance of acronyms: ABM missile (antiballistic missile missile)

  4. Ignorance of foreign terms: a cappella without musical instruments

Exercise: Explain why the following pleonasms appear redundant

  1. a known carcinogen suspected of causing cancer

  2. A.M. in the morning

  3. absolutely necessary

  4. ATM machine

  5. autobiography of my life

  6. constant nagging

  7. dead corpse

  8. free gift

  9. join together

  10. not sufficient enough

  11. old custom

  12. original source

  13. past experience

  14. PIN number

  15. top priority

  16. unexpected surprise

  17. unhealthy sickness

  18. unsolved mystery

  19. wall mural

  20. water hydrant


A tautonym result when a word or name consisting of two identical parts, such as murmur. Although most tautonyms are un-English in etymology, meaning, and appearance, the most familiar ones to us are usually hyphenated and consist of recognizable English, such as fifty-fifty and twenty-twenty. In addition, tautonyms are prohibited in botanical nomenclature, but they have been used in biological nomenclature to describe a genus and a species, such as Bison bison.

  1. beriberi

  2. choo-choo

  3. so-so

  4. tom-tom

  5. zoozoo

Similarly, an internal tautonym is a word that has a tautonym within it, such as nonsense.

  1. assassin

  2. barbarous

  3. Chihuahua

  4. Mississippi

  5. singing

  6. stomachache

This post originated from a speech handout by Prof. Lin Hsiu-chun (a.k.a. Spring) of NKNU, who lectured about teaching of writing in vocational high schools at TCHCVS in November, 2013. The speech was not only informative but also inspiring. Focusing on vocabulary as well as pronunciation, the excerpt below is fundamental to English learning and interesting enough for students to have some fun. Personally, Ben was privileged to be one of her students in college years. Thanks to her training, I enjoy my teaching career very much and treasure bittersweet memories of writing apology letters during my salad days.

Do you know how English words are formed?

  1. Adding affixes: electrocardiograph, pandemonium, chocoholic, netaholic, vitaholic (The longer the word, the easier it is.)

  2. Compounding:  baby-sitter, cupcake, hand-me-down, hand-me-up

  3. Blending: motel, medicare, modicon, smog, brunch, ginormous

  4. Clipping: bike, dorm, lab, vet, gym, exam, ad, deli, limo, photo, auto, bus, flu, fridge

  5. Coining: dink, ROM, CAI, radar, UFO, ASAP, BTW, TGIF

  6. Eponym: sandwich, masochist, sadist, boycott, china, laconic

  7. Onomatopoeia: buzz, rattle, splash, sizzle, tinkle

Reasons why English is difficult to learn

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

  2. The farm was used to produce produce.

  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.

  6. The soldier decided to desert the dessert in the desert.

  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

  8. A bass was pointed on the head of the bass drum.

  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

  10. I did not object to the object.

  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

  13. They were too close to the door to close it.

  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.

  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

  18. After a number of injections, my jaw got number.

  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

  21. Archery requires a bow and an arrow. A boat has a bow.

  22. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

I take it you already know


Others may stumble, but not you


Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,

To learn of less familiar traps.


Beware of HEARD, a dreadful word,

That looks like BEARD and sounds like BIRD

And DEAD—it’s said like BED, not BEAD.

For goodness’ sake, don’t call it DEED!


Watch out for MEAT and GREAT and THREAT.

They rhyme with SUITE and STRAIGHT and DEBT.


A MOTH is not a MOTH in MOTHER,


And HERE is not a match for THERE,

Nor DEAR and FEAR for PEAR and BEAR.


And then there’s DOSE and ROSE and LOSE.

Just look them up—and GOOSE and CHOOSE,

And CORK and WORK and CARD and WARD,

And DO and GO, then THWART and CART.


Come, come, I’ve made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d mastered it when I was five!

Much of modern English can be traced back to other languages such as Greek (ptomaine, psychology, pterodactyl) and French (rendezvous). Silent letters are difficult for students because they are not spelled the way they sound. Therefore, teachers are supposed to pinpoint the silent letters so as to enhance students’ awareness of the irregularity, particularly teaching pronunciations.

A: bread, liar

B: debt, thumb

C: Connecticut, indict, science

D: handsome, Wednesday

E: height, tape, steak

F: halfpenny

G: gnome, night, phlegm

H: bough, ghost, honor

I: business, thief, Sioux

J: rijsttafel

K: blackboard

L: Lincoln, talk

M: mnemonic

N: column, monsieur

O: country, people

P: cupboard, psychology, receipt, sapphire

Q: racquet

R: forecastle

S: aisle, debris, island, viscount

T: apostle, gourmet, listen

U: circuit, dough, gauge, plague

V: flivver, savvy

W: answer, two, wrist

X: faux pas, grand, prix, Sioux

Y: aye, crayon, prayer

Z: rendezvous


Spoken but unseen letters are the ones pronounced in a word without appearing in it.

A: bouquet

B: Peiping

C: seal

D: Taoism

E: quay

F: cough

G: janitor

H: Navajo

I: gypsy

J: gesticulate

K: cay

L: W-shaped

M: grandpa

N: comptroller

O: beau

P: hiccough

Q: cue

R: colonel

S: center

T: passed

U: ewe

V: of

W: once

X: necks

Y: wine

Z: xylem