fan-hitting (classified) (UNCLASSIFIED)

Jeff Prucher jprucher at YAHOO.COM
Wed Oct 15 17:59:11 UTC 2008

Arnold Zwicky wrote:

> On Oct 14, 2008, at 1:34 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>> As it should be, since "feghoot" comes from sf.
>> m a m
>> On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 1:04 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC <
>> Bill.Mullins at> wrote:
>>> Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
>>> Caveats: NONE
>>>> "feghoot" is not yet in the OED.  should it be?
>>> But it is in _Brave New Words:  The Oxford Dictionary of Science
>>> Fiction_ by Jeff Prucher.
> so it *comes from* sf,  does this determine how it can/must be used
> now?  surely you don't want to maintain such a position.
> i have no stake in any of this, but if "feghoot" must be limited to sf
> contexts, then how do we talk about these punning/spoonerizing final
> lines to jokes, many of which have nothing to do with sf? and some of
> which predate the Feghoot stories?

An alternative, non-SFnal, name is "set-up pun".  At least, that's what Richard Lederer calls them. (A couple hits in Google Books, anway, but fewer than for "feghoot") Set-up pun has the advantage of being fairly transparent, but it's not nearly as fun to say.

Jeff Prucher

The American Dialect Society -

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