Word Play

Word Play

My father used to say "I don’t have a sense of humor." This wasn’t actually true, though I think he said it as he wasn’t someone who told jokes much or did practical jokes. He was a pretty serious, but gentle man. But there was one form of humor he loved: Puns. He called them "punishment." Groan

I remember once when I was studying Latin and Roman History in college, I told him about some of Caesar’s military campaigns in what is now France. He deadpanned, “Sounds like Caesar had a lot of Gaul.” If you didn’t know, Gaul is the Latin word for France. That still makes me chuckle.

Being people of the “word,” we UUs love our word-play. We love etymology, to know where words come from and why they were created. One of the most famous word-play artists, was George Carlin. He was given, in fact, an honorary Ph.D. in English, for his brilliant analysis of the English language. For example, he would ask “Why do we park in a driveway, but drive in a parkway?” and “Why do women have a pair of panties, but only one bra?” and “If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fires, what do freedom fighters fight?”

Word plays and puns help us to remember not to take ourselves too seriously. They gently point out how silly we human beings can be. So what are some of your favorite word plays? I hope this short article gave you a couple of chuckles and if you remember a fun one, send it on to me! I love a good word play or pun – and definitely a chuckle!

With Love,

Rev. Sian


Rev. Sian Wiltshire is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's minister. Please feel free to reach out and say hello! She can be reached by email, revsian@ocuuc.org, or by church phone at (714) 556-2882 (x302).

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