“I see,” said Tom icily: Tom Swifties at the beginning of the 21st century

Anna T. Litovkina

Abstract


This paper gives a definition and historical background of the Tom Swifty, addresses different types of punning employed in Tom Swifties, and discusses topics emerging in them. It also treats the occurrence of proverbs, proverbial phrases, idioms, and aphorisms in Tom Swifties. What is typical for Tom Swifty? It might be considered the twentieth century development of the form of folklore called wellerism. Tom Swifty is a wellerism conventionally based on the punning relationship between the way an adverb describes a speaker and simultaneously refers to the meaning of the speaker’s statement. The speaker is traditionally Tom, his statement is usually placed at the beginning of the Tom Swifty, and the adverb at the end of it, e.g. “I see,” said Tom icily (icily vs. I see).


Keywords


Tom Swifty; adverb; punning; paronym; homonym; wellerism

Full Text:

VIEW FULL TEXT HERE

References


A Letter From The Publisher (1963). Time Magazine. 21 June 1963.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,874872,00.html (accessed 9 May 2014).

Appleton, V. (1910). Tom Swift and His Airship. http://www.classicreader.com/book/338/6/ (accessed 9 May 2014).

Attardo, S. (1994). Linguistic Theories of Humor. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Berger, A. A. (1995). Blind Men and Elephants: Perspectives on Humor. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Bertram, A. (1994): NTC’s Dictionary of Proverbs and Clichés. Lincolnwood, Illinois: National Textbook Company.

Bier, J. (1968). The Rise and Fall of American Humor. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Esar, E. (1952). The Humor of Humor. New York: Horizon Press.

Freud, S. (1960 [1905]). Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious. Translated and edited by Strachey, J. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Heller, L. G. (1974). ‘Toward a general typology of the pun’. Language and Style VII (4), pp. 271–282.

Hockett, Ch. F. (1972). ‘Jokes’, in Smith, M. E. (ed.), Studies in Linguistics in Honor of George L. Trager, The Hague: Mouton, pp. 153–178.

Lippman, L. G., Bennington, K. & Sucharski, I. L. (2002). ‘Contextual connections to puns in Tom Swifties’. Journal of General Psychology 129 (2), pp. 202–208.

Lippman, L. G. & Tragesser, S. L. (2005). ‘Constructing something funny: Levels of associative connection in Tom Swifties’. Journal of General Psychology 132 (3), pp. 231–42.

T. Litovkina, A. (2014a). ‘Tom Swifty’, in Attardo, S. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., Vol. 2, pp. 767–768.

T. Litovkina, A. (2014b). ‘Anti-proverb’, in Attardo, S. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., Vol. 1, pp. 47–49.

T. Litovkina, A. & Mieder, W. (2006). Old Proverbs Never Die, They Just Diversify: A Collection of Anti-Proverbs. Burlington: The University of Vermont & Veszprém: The Pannonian University of Veszprém.

Mieder, W. (1982). ‘Sexual content of German Wellerisms’. Maledicta 6, pp. 215–223.

Mieder, W. (1989). American Proverbs: A Study of Texts and Contexts. Bern: Peter Lang.

Mieder, W. & Kingsbury, S. A. (1994). A Dictionary of Wellerisms. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rapp, A. (1951). The Origins of Wit and Humor. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co Inc.

Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanisms of Humor. Dordrecht: Reidel.

Webster, D. (1983). Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. (Deluxe 2nd edition). Cleveland: Dorset & Baber.

http://baetzler.de/humor/tom_swiftie.var

http://bitsandpieces.us/2011/10/23/tom-swifties-2/

http://homepage.mac.com/shelobmarian/handmade/tom_swifties.html

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/categorization/TomSwifties.html

http://schott.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/weekend-competition-tom-swifties/

http://thinks.com/words/tomswift.htm

http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword/word/Tom+Swifty

http://www.avko.org/free/humor/tom_swifties.htm

http://www.chacha.com/question/what-is-a-'tom-swiftie'-joke

http://www.englishforums.com/English/TomSwifty/qvwmp/post.htm

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Meet-Tom-Swifty-258636.html

http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_history.html

http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_a-e.html

http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_f-m.html

http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_n-r.html

http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_s-z.html

http://www.jimwegryn.com/Words/TomSwiftlies.htm

http://www.joe-ks.com/Tom_Swifties.htm

http://www.kith.org/logos/words/upper/S.html

http://www.mendosa.com/tom_swifties.htm

http://www.metafilter.com/27495/Fun-with-Puns

http://www.satiche.org.uk/satiche/sat-0102.htm

http://www.sleuthsayers.org/2011/11/wellerness.html




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2014.2.2.tlitovkina

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Publication ethics and malpractice statement