Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Vocab Jokes, Part I
As the years rolled along at Harmon (Middle) School, where I taught seventh and eighth graders, I sought new ways to keep myself sane while teaching vocabulary. One of the ways--making up stupid jokes about the words. Puns.
When I would dictate the words on the weekly quizzes (students had to spell the word, write a definition, use the word in a sentence that revealed the word's meaning--no One-of-my-favorite-words-is-sojourn kinds of sentences), I would sometimes, when I could think of something, make up a pun by using the word in a sample sentence.
Here are some actual examples from the eighth-grade list:
1. lucid: Did you hear what lucid? (what Lou said?)
2. implore: The man was implore health.
3. amiable: Is Amy a bull or a cow?
4. alacrity: Alacrity, but I love her coffee. (I like her tea ...)
5. cremate: The cremate the cow.
6. pious: The Three Stooges tried to pious. (pie us)
7. ensue: Jack the Ripper put a knife ensue. (in Sue)
8. sordid: I sordid my homework. (sorta did)
9 assent: The workman didn't charge assent.
10. qualify: The Australians rounded up all the little bears, built a fire, and had a qualify (koala-fry). This one caused me a little trouble when a student, Shannon, a lover of koala bears (they adorned her folders), gave me a (feigned) shocked look and told me it wasn't funny. (Everyone else was laughing.)
11. tyrant: Instructions for killing a runt: Tie runt to railroad tracks.
12. detain: Detain went down de tacks.
13. confound: The con found a way out of prison.
14. ascertain: Ascertain pulled out of the station, she waved good-bye.
15. assail: Assail my boat on Saturday. (I sail ..)
16. pampered: Pam purred when I gave her flowers.
17. misdemeanor: Miss, the meaner you get, the sadder I get.
Well, they're horrible, I know--but they elicited groans from generations of eighth graders--so that's good, right?
More of this from my eleventh-grade list tomorrow ...
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