[Lexicog] Christmas puns!

Fritz Goerling Fritz_Goerling at SIL.ORG
Thu Dec 22 15:54:34 UTC 2005


Hi there, Chaz,
 
I definitely agree. I am just having a private exchange with SIL colleague
Ronnie Sim,
a Scotsman, on irony, sarcasm, puns and humor in English and German. Ronnie
Sim is a proponent of Relevance Theory which has a lot to say about irony
and
related matters. Check out the on-line bibliography:
 
 <http://www.ua.es/personal/francisco.yus/rt.html>
http://www.ua.es/personal/francisco.yus/rt.html

 
Has it occurred to you that I have stimulated humorous exchanges on this
list, e.g. based
on homophones in English? It is not just for fun's sake but this is one of
my
hobby horses: language-specific or culture-specific humor, and
cross-cultural
humor. And you know there is a some humor, irony and sarcasm in the Bible,
and as a Bible translation consultant I try to help teams to get that across
in their
translations. So my interest is not just entertainment, but it is
professional.
 
Now it is a known fact that English has a lot of homonyms while German has
relatively few. This fact explains why so much humor in English is based
on puns and word-plays on the homonym level. Maybe that is why the Brits
have this stereotype about the Germans that we don't have a sense a humor.
To which I answer, "No, we have developed different kinds of humor.
We also like to play with words but our language lends itself less to puns
using homonyms."
 
Merry Christmas,
 
Fritz
 
 


Frohe Weihnachten to you, Fritz,

My German father-in-law has spoken English for over 50 years now but he 
says English has so much more flexibility than German does when it 
comes to puns and other word plays. Do you agree?

-Chaz
  
  




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