Laugh­ter, the Best Medicine

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents -

PARAPROSDOKIAN A sen­tence or phrase that ends in an un­ex­pected way. For in­stance:

‘I want to die peace­fully in my sleep, like my grand­fa­ther, not scream­ing and yelling like the pas­sen­gers in his car.’

‘Hos­pi­tal­ity is mak­ing your guests feel as if they’re at home, even if you wish they were.’

PORT­MAN­TEAU A clever word cre­ated by blend­ing two other words. Some ex­am­ples:

An in­di­vid­ual who con­tin­ues talk­ing on the phone so as to be rude to oth­ers: cell­fish.

When you buy a bag of crisps think­ing that it will be full but it turns out to be mostly air: chiptease.

MONDEGREEN A fa­mous lyric that is often mis­heard. Two favourites:

Ac­tual lyric from the Rolling Stones song ‘Beast of Bur­den’: ‘I’ll never be your beast of bur­den.’ Mondegreen: ‘I’ll never leave your pizza burn­ing.’

Ac­tual lyric from the El­ton John song ‘Tiny Dancer’: ‘Hold me closer, tiny dancer.’ Mondegreen: ‘Hold me

closer, Tony Danza.’

APTRONYM A name that is per­fectly suited to its owner; think the poet Wil­liam Wordsworth. Some more real ex­am­ples: A US lawyer is blessed with a name that strikes fear in the hearts of her op­po­nents: Sue Yoo. A hunter in the US was shot in the foot after his dog stepped on his shot­gun. The dog’s name: Trig­ger.

SPOONERISM A hu­mor­ous re­ver­sal of sounds in two words. Ex­am­ples:

‘Don’t put all your begs in one ask it.’

‘Psy­chol­o­gist: a per­son who pulls habits out of rats.’

‘Go and shake a tower’ for ‘Go and take a shower’.

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