To some extent, everyone plays with language and uses it as a form of recreation as well as a means of communication. Recognizing that the creation of true wit is a subjective endeavour, Richler suggests that the commission of language wit occurs not only wittingly, but also unwittingly and sometimes even half-wittedly. When we consciously manipulate language for the purpose of wit, Richler designates this process “arranged wit,” and because sometimes the humour seemingly emanates from the mind of a nitwit rather than a wit, Richler designates this “deranged wit.” Moreover, what appears to be deranged can actually be artfully arranged, or as Polonius might say, there is much method to the madness. Join Richler in Wordplay as he highlights the most whimsical English language writers throughout the ages and analyzes what constitutes both arranged and deranged wit. Prepare for chuckles aplenty, and even belly laughs.
About the author
Howard Richler is a long-time logophile who has served as a language columnist for several newspapers and magazines. He is the author of seven previous books on language, including The Dead Sea Scroll Palindromes (1995), Take My Words:A Wordaholic’s Guide to the English Language (1996), A Bawdy Language: How a Second-Rate Language Slept its Way to the Top (1999), Global Mother Tongue: The Eight Flavours of English (2006), Can I Have a Word with You (2007), Strange Bedfellows: The Private Lives of Words (2010), How Happy Became Homosexual: And Other Mysterious Semantic Shifts (2013), and most recently, Wordplay: Arranged and Deranged Wit. Richler resides in Montreal with his partner Carol, where he struggles to be fluent not only in French but in the many flavours of the English language.You can check out his language musings and daily word puzzles on Facebook at facebook.com/howard.richler and on Twitter @howardrichler, or visit his wordnerd blog at howarderichler.blogspot.com.