Puppeteer Of Words


My mother is the inspiration for my weird obsession with words.

One Saturday night when we found ourselves abandoned at home by dad and my sister and with no party invitations of our own we invented a game to devour time (devime).

We started playing around with puns the way a cat plays with a mouse, it was quite sinister the way we snatched at words, tossed them about in our mouths, even chewed on them, before scaling them for the parts we wanted.

The result was a game involving us trying to find funny explanations for combinations of words.

It was like deep sea fishing. For boots. Desperate and left a funny taste of leather in your mouth. But we were hooked.

I guess you could compare it to theatre sports, but with words. A game of words, often played by nerds and geeks who are attracted to the digressive, discursive, verbiage-filled challenge.

First you hunt the forest for wild words that appeal to you. Then you slaughter them, either cut them in half, pull of an affix or even a prefix but gut the meaning and put it to the side because that’s the tasty bit. Repeat this. Then in a metaphorical bowl in your head, combine the two remnants of words. Add both meanings, a pun maybe some wine for extra flavour and wham! you’ve cooked yourself up a nice word smoothy (woothy).

Our prime example and ultimately our ‘you-probably-had-to-be-there-funniest-moment’, was our determination to match two amazing wordsmiths of our time: Shakespeare and Stephen King. We toyed around with a word for a while. We came up with Kingspeare, Pearking, Shakesteph. But just couldn’t quite hit it.

Then, from left field, came mum with the winning word and definition: Shakesking, noun, definition: Stagefright.

A thank you very much.

We refer to this now as Fioni and Tracie’s Linguitive Dictionary: ‘linguitive’ being a word we invented meaning ‘derived from linguistics’.

So the ironlusion (ironic conslusion) is that we were bored so we dipped in to the word kitty, went game-hunting, with the aim to devime, and performed a lovely word puppet show for our own entertainment.

I guess, like Shakespeare, we felt that the world (of words) was our stage.

That’s puntastic (punny (funny pun) and fantastic).