Word Play is verbal wit- the manipulation of language with the intent to amuse. Sounds and meanings of words are exploited resulting in funny remarks. It has a wider use orally than in written text but literature has always been full of word play.
Examples of this literary technique include puns, double entendres, tongue twisters, etc. We often engage in wordplay such as jokes and witty remarks during casual conversations among friends and colleagues.
One needs to have a keen ear for the intricacies of a language to be able to understand wordplay. This is fun when you pay attention to the sounds and meaning of words and are able to connect it with something else that is the intended meaning of a joke or expression.
Wordplay is motivating and requires people to constructively use their cognitive abilities to be able to capitalize on opportunities where they can exploit words or phrases to their benefit.
Let’s take a look at some examples of Word Play.
Read and pronounce each one carefully and you will surely enjoy what you notice!
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
He had a photographic memory, which was never developed.
Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
Your argument is sound, nothing but sound.
Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.
If spellings, sounds and different interpretations of words and idioms are what tickle your grey cells, you can indulge in some verbal jousting on the internet through the various platforms and competitions that invite word play entries.
Bruce Worden’s Facebook page Homophones, Weakly explores the wonder that is the English language in all its confusing glory. His clever illustrations show the difference between the words in a visual way- helping any of us still struggling with there/their/they’re, among others.
“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
~James D. Nicoll~
From his website:
“Tremblin implements graphic processes of intervention inspired by anonymous, autonomous and spontaneous practices and expressions in urban space in order to question the systems of legislation, representation and symbolization of the city. He works with site specific urban intervention, performed walk, tools design, détournement of objects and uses publication, installation, photography and video to document or reinvest of his experimentations.”
If you have ever wondered what those scribbles on the walls actually mean then Mathieu is here to help. Check out some images below.