"F" as In Frank

Word play

Joni just started her new quarter of classes at YVCC, and we are having some fun with a linguistics class she is taking.

There are reviews of homonyms, synonyms and antonyms. But then it gets even more technical with morphemes and phonemes.

Joni's been focusing on creating word play with linguistics, getting creative with the sounds of words and the pictures they can create in the mind.

As someone who writes and edits for a living, it's fun to see the projects she's working on. After all, only in the English language could you imagine a bear cupboard, or taking a fairy to see the Puget Sound.

Have you heard cattle, or do you herd cattle? Guess it could be both in this puzzling language of ours.

I remember when we were in Budapest, the Hungarians also had word play with their language.

That even extended to corporate-speak, as McDonald's told customers their restaurants are "where it's good to be, where it's good to eat."

As foreigners, we had to be careful not to inadvertently come up with embarrassing word play of our own.

I remember one friend over there who received a bit of good news and, in a group setting, exclaimed in Hungarian, "I'm exciting!" He, of course, was trying to say, "I'm excited!"

To be sure, I had my turns with some miscues, as well, like the time a kindly church lady asked me how long Joni and I could stay and visit with her after lunch one afternoon. In my limited Hungarian, I thought she asked how long we were staying in Hungary. So you can understand she got a good laugh-and perhaps a bit of a scare-when I replied we were planning to stay for five years.

Now we are playing word games again, only this time it's intentional for Joni's schooling so she can help children use the language to speak and write the right way.


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