1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Spoonerisms

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by peachalulu, Dec 8, 2012.

    I was thinking of having one of my character drop a few spoonerisms - that's when you mix up words.
    - like - a well oiled bicycle becomes - A well-boiled icicle.
    But I'm wondering if this is better when it's heard in movies or does the visual make for a
    good laugh?
     
  2. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I think it would totally depend on the character saying it and the reaction of anyone hearing it.

    If the character is eccentric or dim-witted, then it may just be a nuance to their dialogue. Of course, you would have to build a framework on which to rest your 'spoonerisms'. They can't just exist in a vacuum.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Yeah, that's the problem I'm having is that it could make the character appear to be an idiot - when really everybody mixes up their
    words once in a while.
    I googled spoonerisms in literature but didn't find much - one reference was a moment in Harry Potter.
     
  4. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, people would be more apt to make a slip of the tongue when they are under duress as well. However I think it may come off cliche' and perhaps a stutter would be better suited. I suppose it depends on how well and smoothly you weave it into the story.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Exactly. I think, I'm going to skip the spoonerisms for now. The character is under stress but it could
    add too much goofy humor and dilute a tense situation.
    Thanks
     
  6. cmshepard
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    cmshepard Member

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    Maybe wait until the character is giving a recount of the time of duress, and is nervous in the telling?

    Honestly... I would laugh because I am that person. *shrug* =-]
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I often use spoonerisms in real life just because I think they're funny, and my roommate doesn't mind. I'd avoid them for a fictional character, though. They make a character seem very self-conscious.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I use spoonerisms and other forms of wordplay in real life. My son does too. And sometimes it gets a chuckle. So if you have a character who does so, it's real enough. But unless you have a very rare collection of oddballs, don't have everyone in the room doing it. It will sound like Christmas dinner in my family, and NO ONE will believe it!
     
  9. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I have always enjoyed spoonerisms, but I have found that my friends and family get irritated by them if I use them too often so the same might be true of a general readership too. It's probably better to avoid them mostly, with just the odd one or two dropped in when a suitable need for comic effect presents itself.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I think for something like this to work, a writer has to be able to provide very distinct adjectives, so that the reader can not only see the joke at hand, but they are also able to relate to the people in your story that are involved. It is definitely harder to do in writing verses a movie or television show where you can see the perplexed faces of the people involved, and the ability of the person saying it with a straight face. I do this all the time with friends. After I say about three of them in a row they start to get a little agitated though! Personally I think it is a generation thing. I would say the first time I heard a spoonerisms, was from Chevy Chase in the movie "Fletch." He used spoonerisms to confuse the people he was talking to so that he could easily bring them off the subject they were originally talking about. A red herring? I'm not real sure if I got my point across or not, but if anything I reminded my self how damn old I am by making a "Fletch" reference.
     

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