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Puns in the Headlines

When President Barack Obama had the Oval Office redecorated in soft browns and beige, The New York Times headline read: “The Audacity of Taupe.” The hosts discuss how puns work, and what makes them clever. Martha recommends John...

Mixed Feelings about Puns

What happens when a clock gets hungry? It goes back four seconds. Martha talks about how puns weren’t always considered “bad.” Cicero praised them as the wittiest kind of saying, and Shakespeare made plenty of them, for both...

The Pun Also Rises

Martha and Grant discuss why some puns work and others don’t. Martha recommends John Pollack’s observation in The Pun Also Rises describing how “for a split second, puns manage to hold open the elevator doors of language and...

Listener Tom Swifties

Grant shares Tom Swifties sent in by listeners: “Aw, shucks, I dropped the toothpaste,” Tom said crestfallenly, and “I’ve located the experts,” Tom said profoundly. This is part of a complete episode.

Sufficiently Suffonsified

What’s in a pet’s name? Martha and Grant swap stories about how they came up with names for their dogs. Also this week: Have you ever been called a stump-jumper? How about a snicklefritz? And what’s the last word in the dictionary...

Bicycle Tom Swifty

Martha shares a couple of Tom Swifties, those funny sentences that make great punny use of adverbs, like “‘My bicycle wheel is damaged,’ Tom said outspokenly.” This is part of a complete episode.