2Puzzles and wordplay in the language classroom The main aim of this talk is to celebrate some wonderful examples of wordplay in English, from puns and palindromes to lipograms and anagrams. If Inspector Morse’s beloved cryptic crosswords are not your cup of tea, then the crossed words of Professor Spooner just might raise a smile. One way or another, we will see how playing with language can be fun for learners of all ages and language levels, whilst thinking about ways of using wordplay to brighten up our lessons. I would also like to address the broader question of how puzzles can help our learners to think about language learning in a positive and creative way.Edmund Dudley
5Early memories of wordplay NDNTOOCUWWRSDORCSOSCOUNTDOWNCROSSWORDSBECALSBRSCRABBLE
6Wordplay as culture Really long words EszperenteJokes about namesmegszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekértKellemetes hely, melyben kedvedre ehetsz eleget,ellenben e nevezetes helyen teljes keresetedet elverheted.Maradoka Magamura(maradok a magam ura)Mikor Sodorszki(mikor sodorsz ki?)
9Tres tristes tigres. (Spanish) She sells sea shells by the sea shore. Tongue twistersTres tristes tigres. (Spanish)She sells sea shells by the sea shore.Red lorry, yellow lorryThree thin trees and three tall trees.9
101. Truly rural 2. Red lorry, yellow lorry 3. Please pay promptly Tongue twister duelsFace your partner. Choose a tongue twister.Take turns, saying it as fast as you can each time.The loser is the first one to mess up.1. Truly rural2. Red lorry, yellow lorry3. Please pay promptly
11Create your own tongue twister Name Verb (t) Adjective Noun Laura loves luscious lemons Barbara buys Brazilian buttons
12PunsPun: the clever or humorous use of a word that has more than one meaning, or of words that have different meanings but sound the same.
14Puns in jokes habit custom tradition Do you know any jokes about sodium? Na Do you want to hear a joke about Potassium? K I would make another Chemistry joke… … but all the good ones Argonhabitcustomtradition
15Puns – My Blackberry’s not working Puns on fruit: Can you spot five?blackberryjuiceblack spotsorangedateapple
16if der stand this Rebuses Rebus: a combination of pictures and letters which represent a word or phrase whose meaning has to be guessed.ifderstandthis
18What do you notice about this text? Noon rings out. A wasp, making an ominous sound, a sound akin to a klaxon or a tocsin, flits about. Augustus, who has had a bad night, sits up blinking and purblind. Oh what was that word (is his thought) that ran through my brain all night, that idiotic word that, hard as I'd try to pun it down, was always just an inch or two out of my grasp - fowl or foul or Vow or Voyal?Lipogram
19OzymandiasI met a traveller from an antique land Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
20 Ozymandias – in lipogram form I know a pilgrim from a distant land Who said: Two vast and sawn-off limbs of quartzStand on an arid plain. Not far, in sandHalf sunk, I found a facial stump, drawn wartsAnd all; its curling lips of cold commandShow that its sculptor passions could portrayWhich still outlast, stamp’d on unliving things,A mocking hand that no constraint would sway:And on its plinth this lordly boast is shown:“Lo, I am Ozymandias, king of kings:Look on my works, O Mighty, and bow down!”‘Tis all that is intact. Around that crustOf a colossal ruin, now windblown,A sandstorm swirls and grinds it into dust. (G. Adair)
21Side by side… Shelley Aldair And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'And on its plinth this lordly boast is shown: “Lo, I am Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, O Mighty, and bow down!” ‘Tis all that is intact. Around that crust Of a colossal ruin, now windblown, A sandstorm swirls and grinds it into dust.
22Don’t say it! yes no black white A: Interview your partner. Ask any question you want. Try to get her/him to say one of the following words: B: Answer your partner’s questions without using any of the words above!yesnoblackwhite
23Lipogram dialogues: on the motorway A: You are the driver. You don’t want to stop. B: You are the passenger. You need to answer a ‘call of nature’ Act out the conversation – no words containing the letter E allowed!
24Freedom through constraint? Taboo word to be describedschoollearnteacherstudenttaboowords
25Describe the word! water drink liquid glass word to be described taboo words
26Freedom through constraint? Compulsory phrases Writing a letter to a hotelMaking a bookingAsking for information about facilitiesAsking for directionsInclude the phrases:“a whisker from the beard of Charles Darwin”and“a warm glass of Sri Lankan mango juice ”
29What do these sentences have in common? The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogBrown jars prevented the mixture from freezing too quickly.Farmer _ac_ realized that big yellow _ _ilts were expensiveJackquiltsPangram
30What do you notice about these words and phrases? civicreviverracecarA man, a plan, a canal – Panama!Was it a rat I saw?Sums are not set as a test on ErasmusFinish the palindrome:Mr Owl ate my metal ______Never odd or ______Dammit, I’m ______!Palindromewormevenmad
32AnagramsCan you remember these? Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort O, Draconian devil! = Leonardo da Vinci Oh, lame saint! = The Mona Lisa
33Favourite anagramsDormitoryDesperationThe Morse CodeSlot MachinesEleven plus two= Dirty Room = A rope ends it = Here Come Dots = Cash Lost in 'em = Twelve plus one
34= In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
36"Three cheers for our queer old dean! " "A well-boiled icicle" SpoonerismsSpoonerism: a mistake in which you change around the first sounds of two words by mistake when saying them, often with a humorous result"Three cheers for our queer old dean! " "A well-boiled icicle" "You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain." Rev. W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford
37Tom SwiftiesA Tom Swifty is wordplay in which an adverb relates both properly and punningly to a speech act: "I'll have a martini," said Tom, drily. "Who discovered radium?" asked Marie curiously. "That's the last time I'll stick my arm in a lion's mouth," the lion-tamer said off-handedly. "Your Honour, you're crazy!" said Tom judgementally. "The doctor had to remove my left ventricle," said Tom half-heartedly. "Don't let me drown in Egypt!" pleaded Tom, deep in denial.
38Who said it? And about what? “the most serene and civilized way of wasting time that I, now nearing 80, have as yet discovered.”Colin DexterAuthor of Inspector MorseWinner of national cryptic crossword competitions
40How do the clues work?The Clue: People bothered about language in Mass – those devoted to the Virgin (11 letters) The Solution: GRAMMARIANS How you get the solution: A word meaning mass (GRAM) and a word meaning those devoted to the Virgin (MARIANS) are put together to give you a word meaning people bothered about language (GRAMMARIANS)
41Clues with anagramsSlipped a disc - it’s cruel (8 letters) This indicates something is out of position – an anagram! There are eight letters in the solution; The solution means cruel Can you solve it? SADISTIC Arranged robes like a judge (5 letters) SOBER
42Clues with anagramsRevolutionary colours invisible for the bloody right-wing politician (6,10) SILVIO BERLUSCONI
43Clues with double meanings Fellow from Exeter, say, has footwear to put on (6,3) OXFORD DON
44Clues that require lateral thinking! Make J-U-M-P in wonder (10 letters) SPELLBOUND
45Some celebrated cluesO (4,6) _O_E - _E_T_R LOVE LETTER Amundsen’s forwarding address (4) _U_H MUSH ABCDEFG…PQRSTUVWXYZ (5) _A_E_ WATER (H2O)
46Thank you!Have fun with puzzles and wordplay!legyened.edublogs.org