It’s all in the phrasing

Most people who have followed any of my blogs have probably gathered that I am kind of fond of words .. especially playing with them. I have always found language a fascinating creature, especially because it can be so widely manipulated. Everyone does it to some extent. Advertisers completely redefine the meaning of words all the time in the pursuit of mindless zombies … for instance the word FREE rarely has anything to do with its dictionary definition. Politically minded folks have mastered the art of saying words that seem to mean one thing, yet often mean something totally different.  And comedy is all about how words are used and perceived.

"more-puns51"This imprecision can often lead to misunderstanding, sometimes humorous, even if that is not the intent of the word maker. We all occasionally hear things wrong. And our mind loves to play tricks on us, so sometimes we will hear what we WANT (or even DON’T WANT) to hear. Since I love playing with words, I often find myself doing this on purpose, much to other people’s discomfort. My humor is usually labeled as painful.

For instance the other day, my mother mention speaking to Mike Cook (her tax man), and what I heard was My Cook. Since she makes most of the meals in the house (don’t judge!), I was wondering why she just didn’t use her cook if she had one. I was also surprised this was the first time I had heard about said person.

Yesterday, as I was running around doing last-minute prep for the PENDING ADVENTURE, I actually interacted with a few humans again. As I was paying for a purchase at one store, the very friendly check out girl, following procedure, asked if I wanted to help people with cancer ( don’t specifically remember which kind). Being tight with the funds I said not today, and then after a few seconds, I said, "It seems to me people do fine on their own getting cancer, why would they need my help?" The poor girl looked at me blankly, probably wondering if I forgot to take my meds. She might have got it when my mother chimed in with possible better ways of asking the question.

Yep. language is an interesting critter!