In today's busy world, where text-speak seems to be the prevalent form of written English, and the average teenager can barely form a proper sentence without using the numbers '4' or '8' as substitutes for letters, is the pun becoming an endangered species? As a society we have come to regard wordplay as old-fashioned, obvious humour, because it hinges simply on one word having multiple definitions, spellings or sound-a-likes. It may not be controversial, edgy or even topical, but it actually takes a great deal of skill, wit and general knowledge to come up with a decent pun - not everyone can do it. The Little Book of Puns explores the dying art of paronomasia and gives us a taste of the very best wordplay history has to offer. It harks back to the heady days when intelligence was measured at dinner parties rather than behind a school desk, when people still wrote letters instead of emails and actually read newspapers instead of checking out a website. This book may as well exist in anti-gravity, because you'll find it almost impossible to put down!
Alison Westwood, originally from London, now lives by the south coast. She studied English to postgraduate level and has since worked for various publishing houses. In her spare time she is a freelance journalist, regularly contributing to national magazines and newspapers. It was her keen interest in words and phrases that drove her to compile this book of puns.
Introduction -- William Shakespeare -- Thomas Hood -- Lewis Carroll -- William Archibald Spooner -- Oscar Wilde -- Hector Hugh Munro: Saki -- W. C. Fields -- Robert Benchley -- Groucho Marx -- Mae West -- Dorothy Parker -- Tommy Cooper -- George Carlin -- Tim Vine -- Knock, knock... -- Doctor, Doctor -- Edinburgh Festival Fringe Funniest Joke Award -- Loadsa Pun -- Best Tabloid Headlines -- Appendix.