Synopses & Reviews
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?
"Anyone with an interest in language is going to find this book fascinating." ---David Crystal, author of How Language Works
"Pete Larkin's resonant voice nicely balances this lively material, which will appeal to all etymologists, lexicographers, and language mavens." ---Library Journal Audio Review
A former world pun champion's funny, erudite, and provocative exploration of puns, the people who make them, and this derided wordplay's remarkable impact on history.
About the Author
John Pollack is a former presidential speechwriter and the winner of the 1995 O. Henry World Championship Pun-Off. Previously, he wrote for the Hartford Courant and spent three years in Spain as a freelance foreign correspondent writing for the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Miami Herald, 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. John lives in New York City. Pete Larkin, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has wide voice-over and on-camera experience and has worked in virtually all media. He was the public address announcer for the New York Mets from 1988 to 1993. He has worked as a disc jockey in Baltimore, Washington, and New York, including as host of WNEW-FM's highly rated "Saturday Morning Sixties" program. An award-winning on-camera host, Pete has worked on many industrial films for many of the country's top companies, corporations, and governmental agencies and has done hundreds of commercials, promos, and narrations. His theater experience includes a variety of dramatic, comedic, and musical roles.