Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tom Swiftly

"I need a pencil sharpener," said Tom bluntly.
"Oops! There goes my hat!" said Tom off the top of his head.
"I can no longer hear anything," said Tom deftly.
"This must be an aerobics class," Tom worked out.

Tom Swiftie, a play on words that follows an unvarying pattern and relies for its humor on a punning relationship between the way an adverb describes a speaker and at the same time refers significantly to the import of the speaker's statement, as in "I know who turned off the lights," Tom hinted darkly. [named after a narrative mannerism characteristic of the Tom Swift American series of adventure novels for boys]

Source: heard on lingua franca radio national interview with Ursula Dubosarsky

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