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Humor Devices for English II
Transcript of Humor Devices for English II
Puns in the News
In a Reuters article talking about the movie "Man of Steel" rising to the top of the box office, they use the title "Faster than speeding bullet, 'Man of Steel' wins box office race". The movie is a Superman remake, and Superman is often described as "faster than a speeding bullet," making their little play on words very punny! The little pun didn't really make me chuckle but it was cute that they made the reference. The author was trying to make a point of how quickly the movie jumped to the top.
Hyperbole in Advertising
Verbal Irony in Music
Kanye West's hit song, "Gold Digger" features a bit of verbal irony. In the lyric, "I ain't saying she's a gold digger, but she ain't messin' with no broke, broke" he's pointing out the fact that the girl actually IS a gold digger (someone who only becomes involved with someone else because they are rich) because she doesn't date anyone who isn't rich, even though he won't blatantly say she is. He goes on to describe her as having a past of "gold digging" other men. While I don't really like Kanye's self-entitled attitude, I find this song pretty funny.
Hyperbole in a Poem
A Greeting with Puns
Read full poem at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15500
In Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem, "Casey at the Bat" we see a team who is struggling to win their baseball game and is awaiting their star player, Casey, to come hit one out of the park. While Casey moves up to bat the audience's sound is described as such: "...It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell; It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat...". This is an obvious hyperbole as the loud cheering of a small city baseball game wouldn't "rumble the valley" or "rattle the dell," the author wanted to show how loud the crowd was cheering for Casey's arrival at the plate. I do find this kind of funny; I'm just picturing a crowd of people yelling that loud.
Puns in a Short Comic
In this 2-panel comic, an artist talks about all the fans he has, then it shows a pile of literal fans. This play on words is a great example of pun! I loved this comic because it was so silly and cute. I think my favorite form of humor is puns!
Old Spice is known for their wild ads usually featuring famous actor, Terry Crews. This particular commercial describes how Old Spice will literally blow your mind, while Terry's brain is taken out of his head and explodes right in front of him. This is definitely hyperbole at its weirdest, Old Spice's scent won't be blowing any brains up like that. The director of this ad wanted viewers to experience, not literally, how "mind-blowingly awesome" Old Spice is. This ad definitely made me laugh because it's so far out there; not something you usually see.
These fun cute little greeting cards bare phrases such as "I cannot bear to live without you," or "You are some bunny special" along with the animal referenced. They're adorable and totally punny in all their glory. They made me smile/laugh because if I received one of these I'd be so happy, because they are just that cute.
Malapropism in a Comic Strip
In the comic strip below, a group of friends is waiting to see "The Avengers," one friend seems a little too eager and it appears that he actually doesn't know as much about the Avengers as he led on. Shouting "Avengers accumulate!" instead of "Avengers assemble!" really sealed the deal and was hilarious. The author was describing that one person who tries to be into the same stuff as everyone else, but just can't quite get it. Accumulate and assemble have almost similar meanings and sounds, accumulate just means to collect more gradually. Nice try, Benny!
Oxymorons in Shakespeare
In one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, "Romeo & Juliet," Juliet has a short soliloquy full of oxymorons to describe Romeo after finding out he killed her cousin, Tybalt. She says things like "fiend angelical" and "honorable villain to express her anger towards him. He's a fiend disguised as an angel; she thought he was honorable, but now she thinks he's a villain. Shakespeare wanted us to feel her confusion, conveyed through words.Because this is such a tragic scene, I do not find it to be too funny.
An excerpt from Act 3, Scene 2:
O serpent heart hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!
Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despisèd substance of divinest show,
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.
A damnèd saint, an honorable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
Dramatic Irony in Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado" is the perfect example of dramatic irony. In this comedy/suspense story Montresor, the main character, wants to kill his friend/enemy, Fortunato, a wine connoisseur. The story follows him on his plan of doing so, full of puns and other irony along the way. Now, this story is the epitome of dramatic irony because behind every little joke Montresor makes with Fortunato we know he intends to kill him. The use of dramatic irony makes it suspenseful since we know it's coming but have no idea when or how. It is a great read if you have the time, I really enjoyed it.
Read it here: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/POE/cask.html
By: Payton Gary
Situational Irony in the News
Powell Fire Department burnt down in Alabama's DeKalb County. This is unfortunate since it is volunteer-based fire station, relying on donation. This is an example of situational irony because you wouldn't expect a fire department--used to kill fires--to be brought down by one. I didn't think it was funny; it is quite sad actually.
Read the story here: http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=1968517
Understatement in Music
In R.E.M.'s song "It's the End of the World (And I Feel Fine)" heavy understatement is present. The singer describes catastrophe happening all around the world and he doesn't care. The world is ending, and he "feels fine". This isn't the usual rational thinking that would occur if the world truly was ending; everyone would be up in arms! That is why this is an understatement; and I think it's pretty hilarious. Could you imagine everyone freaking out and one guy just kind of hanging out; almost embracing the world's end?
See the lyrics here: http://www.absolutelyrics.com/lyrics/view/r.e.m./it's_the_end_of_the_world_as_we_know_it_(and_i_feel_fine)