BRAINTENANCE: Some Things Must Be Heard Instead Of Read.
Note: This article was written by author Douglas Castle for publication in BRAINTENANCE: MIND BUILDERS! - TRAIN YOUR BRAIN. It may be republished or reproduced without permission provided that 1) the article is printed in its totality, without edit or deletion; 2) all illustrations and hyperlinks incorporated in this article are kept in the republished version (live and intact); and 3) full attribution is given to the author and the blog in which the article originally appeared.
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Dear Cerebral Celebrants:
To be fully appreciated in all aspects, there are occasions when words are best heard instead or read. A significant secondary meaning or subtlety of wordplay may be totally lost otherwise.
For example, in the once-popular Broadway tune, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," the opening line is "You say 'tomato' /and I say 'tomato'." The whole ironic essence of the song has to do with the different ways in which two people pronounce the same word...
to-MAY-to versus to-MAH-to. Pronouncing demands an auditory component -- and in many cases, the pronouncer cannot be one's self merely reading aloud -- the pronouncer must be a third party having certain insight or information which cannot artfully be expressed within the written content. The preceding illustration is a case in point.
Here are several others which do not require a third-party pronouncer. You must, however, read them aloud (preferably in a public place with resounding acoustics; a cathedral, high-school auditorium, or large, empty metal shipping container would do well), and it's always best if at least one other person is there to hear you.
1. On a scale of "one" to "ten", I would say you're an "eight".
2. The rancher had a beautiful daughter, and all the horsemen knew her.
3. There were two skunks who were brothers. One was named "Out" and the other was named "In." In was always wandering off, and the mother of the skunks used to send Out to find In at mealtime. Once, when the mother asked Out how he was always able to easily find his brother, the former replied "instincts, Mom."
4. If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
5. Though they had both started working for the law firm at the same time, Sam could not help but wonder why Suzy had been chosen to be a partner first. While his briefs were always substantial and supported by excellent case law, hers were barely substantial, and her supporting material was scant.
Don't you feel better now? Wasn't that fun?
The lesson: Wordplay may work on several different levels simultaneously.
Show gratitude: Pause for just a moment to be thankful for all of your different senses. Without them, your life would be senseless. [Hold your applause while I take a quick bow and rapidly exit, hopefully prior to the firing of any shots.]
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