Friday, December 14, 2012

The SWIFT MINDS Breakthrough! - Braintenance

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A swifter mind is a more efficient mind...a more useful mind...a more powerful mind, and of course a more desirable mind. There is actually no such creature (or feature) as The SWIFT MINDS Breakthrough [it hardly even qualifies as a Lingovation], but it is a neat term to describe the effect upon the improvement in your associative intelligence, creativity, spontaneity, speed of thought and sense of irony when you engage in reading or creating those adverbial oddities (distantly related to the Paraprasdokians, our second favorite family, the first being the Halogens -- they're a gas!) which are now called "Tom Swifties."

Here's Wikipedia's take on these hysterical swords of wordplay (this part is boring, but it gets better fast -- I swear [all of the time]):

"The name comes from the Tom Swift series of books (1910–present), similar in many ways to the better-known Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, and, like them, produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate

In this series, the young scientist hero, Tom Swift, underwent adventures involving rocket ships, ray-guns and other things he had invented.

A stylistic idiosyncrasy of at least some books in this series was that the author, "Victor Appleton," went to great trouble to avoid repetition of the unadorned word "said"; elegant variation used a different quotative verb, or modifying adverbial words or phrases. 

Since many adverbs end in "ly" this kind of pun was originally called a Tom Swiftly, the archetypal example being "We must hurry," said Tom Swiftly. At some point, this kind of humor was called a Tom Swifty, and that name is now more prevalent though incorrect."

The worst is now over. A whole batch of Tom Swifties (several batches actually) follows to exercise your imagination, and bring a smile to your lips! Read them, enjoy them, and then invent as many of your own as possible.

I should note that in college I was disqualified from a Tom Swifty contest when I came up with "What would you like on your pancakes," the waitress asked syruptitiously. Apparently (as my mom might have said) there was an understood rule that creative re-spelling was not permitted.

Without further ado...

First Batch:

“I manufacture table tops,” said Tom counterproductively.
“Let’s have a debate about cows,” Tom mooted.
“Who discovered radium?” asked Marie curiously.
“Just parsley, sage and rosemary,” said Tom timelessly.
“This sea-spray will ruin all the metal-work,” said Tom mistrustfully
“I can’t tell you how much it resembles a table,” said Tom veritably.
“Show no mercy killing the vampire,” said Tom painstakingly.
“It keeps my hair in place,” said Alice with abandon.

Second Batch:

  • "It's between my sole and my heel," said Tom archly.
  • "You have the right to remain silent," said Tom arrestingly.
  • "Someday I'll run the CIA" said young Tom aspiringly.
  • "The cheque is in the post," Tom assented.
  • "Cobblers!" said Tom at last.
  • "I decide which car to purchase after looking at the pictures," said Tom autobiographically.
Third Batch:

  • "Give me some pre-packed cheese slices," said Tom craftily.
  • "I admire East End gangsters," said Tom crazily.
  • "I dropped the toothpaste," signaled Tom, crestfallen.
  • "I'm dying," Tom croaked.
  • "Your embroidery is terrible," Mary needled, cruelly.
  • "The situation is grave," Tom said cryptically.

Fourth Batch:

"I have a BA in social work," said Tom with a degree of concern.
"There must be a power cut," said Tom delightedly.
"I will now demonstrate how to dissect a sheep," delivered Tom.
"The censors took all the dirty bits out of my show," said Tom deludedly.
"Don't let me drown in Egypt!" pleaded Tom, deep in denial.
"Let me improvise this part," said Tom descriptively.
"Congratulations; you graduated," said Tom diplomatically.
"I was removed from office," said Tom disappointedly.
"That certainly took the wind out of my sails!" said Tom disgustedly.
"I have to wear this cast for another six weeks," said Tom disjointedly.
"Dat's de end of April," said Tom in dismay.
"Whenever I put on my scuba gear, I get pins and needles," said Tom divertingly.
"I'm on social security," said Tom dolefully.
"It's made the grass wet," said Tom after due consideration.
"Aha! Here's someone who can't speak!" exclaimed Tom dumbfoundedly.

Well dear Braintenance fans and friends, I'm afraid that was the very last one (he said, with dispatch). I've simply run out -- if I had my car handy, I'd open up the trunk and take out despair.

The Next Article in The Braintenance Blog will deal with cylinders, cones and packing a container. Don't even try to anticipate it.

Thank you for grokking me in fullness, and for reading and re-tweeting me.

Douglas E. Castle

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