From the September issue of “Popular Mechanics.” Courtesy of Wes Davis.
“The lowest form of wit” ? Or, according to Oscar Levant, “The simplest form of wit, only if you didn’t think of it first”
Is punning (paronomasia) as widespread in the U.S.A. as in the U.K.?
Here it’s the backbone of headline writers in British publications, from the loftiest national newspaper to the humblest of local newsletter.
Its use, its play on familiar words and expressions, catch the eye and draw readers to an item. I used to find that it gave the sub-editor, the production editor, the layout person, a little humorous relief from the rigid mechanical aspects of putting pages together. Has that changed with computerised layouts and type setting?
My dad says that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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