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The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Anticsby John Pollack
Synopses & Reviews
A presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton explores the hidden power of analogy to fuel thought, connect ideas, spark innovation, and shape outcomes
From the meatpacking plants that inspired Henry Fords first moving assembly line to the "domino theory" that led America into Vietnam to the "bicycle for the mind" that Steve Jobs envisioned as the Macintosh computer, analogies have played a dynamic role in shaping the world around us—and still do today.
Analogies are far more complex than their SAT stereotype and lie at the very core of human cognition and creativity. Once we become aware of this, we start seeing them everywhere—in ads, apps, political debates, legal arguments, logos, and euphemisms, to name just a few. At their very best, analogies inspire new ways of thinking, enable invention, and motivate people to action. Unfortunately, not every analogy that rings true is true. Thats why, at their worst, analogies can deceive, manipulate, or mislead us into disaster. The challenge? Spotting the difference before its too late.
Rich with engaging stories, surprising examples, and a practical method to evaluate the truth or effectiveness of any analogy, Shortcut will improve critical thinking, enhance creativity, and offer readers a fresh approach to resolving some of todays most intractable challenges.
A former word pun champion's funny, erudite, and provocative exploration of puns, the people who make them, and this derided wordplay's remarkable impact on history.
The pun is commonly dismissed as the lowest form of wit, and punsters are often unpopular for their obsessive wordplay. But such attitudes are relatively recent developments. In The Pun Also Rises, John Pollack-a former World Pun Champion and presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton-explains why such wordplay is significant: It both revolutionized language and played a pivotal role in making the modern world possible. Skillfully weaving together stories and evidence from history, brain science, pop culture, literature, anthropology, and humor, The Pun Also Rises is an authoritative yet playful exploration of a practice that is common, in one form or another, to virtually every language on earth.
At once entertaining and educational, this engaging book answers fundamental questions: Just what is a pun, and why do people make them? How did punning impact the development of human language, and how did that drive creativity and progress? And why, after centuries of decline, does the pun still matter?
Watch a Video
Provides a light-hearted exploration of puns, including the brain science and history behind them, as well as how they play out in pop culture.
About the Author
Former presidential speechwriter John Pollack won the 1995 O. Henry World Championship Pun-Off. Earlier in his career, he wrote for The Hartford Courant and spent three years in Spain as a freelance foreign correspondent writing for the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Miami Herald, and Advertising Age, among others. His previous books include Cork Boat and The World on a String: How to Become a Freelance Foreign Correspondent. He currently works as a speechwriter and consultant for ROI Communication, a consulting firm. He lives in New York City.
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