Playing on words is one of the most ancient form of humor and is considered more intellectual than, say, stupidity jokes or toilet humor. (I’m by no means disparaging toilet humor. Often it works better than intellectual ones depending on which type of women you’re interacting with.)
Not surprisingly, playing on words bear different degrees of funniness to women from different cultures.
There are culturally and personally “acceptable” and “unacceptable” ideas. Two totally incompatible things may be laid side by side without a problem in one culture but not in another one.
The same goes for an individual.
This technique is about discovering new meanings of “words and sayings” which we normally refer to as clichés.
You must train yourself to be more observant in order to find clichés everywhere. There are so many wonderful things happening around us—yes, they are great materials for your humor resources!
Just listen to how people speak. How many times do you hear clichés everyday… especially in movies?
There’s an abundance of clichés in movies—not only the lines spoken but also the repetitive themes and scenarios. That’s why we sometimes say, “that movie was so boring that I could tell the end after the first 15 minutes.
That’s good news for you, actually. Next time when you’re on a date and go watch a movie, you’ll have plenty materials to joke about.
Here is a sample of clichés of heroes (including the one you’ll see next time) in movies:
- If the hero has a psychological or physical problem which has prevented him from effectively dealing with problems, you can rest assured that this problem will disappear at an opportune time.
- The hero always misses the villain leaving the scene by seconds.
- Stripping to the waist makes the hero invulnerable.
- The hero will always be paired off with a female character. The sidekick never will.
- The hero’s best friend/partner will usually be killed by the bad guys three days before retirement.
- The hero’s new wife will be mowed down by 80 machine guns right after the wedding or during the honeymoon.
- Heroes can go without food or sleep or toilet breaks, with no measurable drop in physical or mental faculties, for at least 72 hours.The hero will always have a small trickle of blood in the right corner of his mouth after a fight. His lip will never be split in the middle, and his upper lip will always be invulnerable. He will wipe the blood from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand, and then look at it. If his face displays any other injury, it will usually be a small abrasion on his right cheekbone. He will wear a band-aid on this for one day, after which it will be miraculously healed.
- The hero will always refuse the assistance of friends or medical personnel after a fight.
- If the hero gets into a second fight, his most injured body part will always be punched or kicked.
- A hero will show no pain even during the most terrific beating, yet he will wince if a women attempts to clean a facial wound.
- When a hero is paired with a weak sidekick, that sidekick will invariably save the hero’s life at a crucial moment, or show remarkable proficiency with weapons in a key scene.
- If the hero is a white male and has an assistant/sidekick who is either not white or not male, the assistant/sidekick will die, preferably in an act of heroic sacrifice.
- If the movie hero has a sidekick and he mentions his family in the first two minutes of the film, the sidekick will surely be killed.
- The movie hero is (almost) always divorced, but he still has some contact with his ex-wife who tells him that she could not stay married to him because she loves him too much.
In real life, we often hear:
“Always look on the bright side of life”
“To be or not to be”
“Live and learn”
“Live and let live”
“C’est la vie”
“What goes around comes around”
“Don’t worry, be happy!”
“Laughter is the best medicine”
“I’m caught between a rock and a hard place.”
We even have clichés for clichés!
“No one owns clichés”
“Clichés are never new”
“Clichés sound better in a foreign language”
“A cliché just describes the feeling or the pretended feeling, it does not change it”
“There is truth in every cliché”
“Avoid clichés like the plague”
I have included here 3 basic ways of playing on words. Use them at your discretion and choose the type that suits both the situation and her disposition the most.
Double entendre is arguably the most flexible way to play with words. It is so easy and can be performed on most of our vocabulary.
“Puns”—something we hear frequently—is the most common form of double entendres. Countless words in the English vocabulary have different meanings.
Take the word “fit” for example, it can either mean “suit (in size, color, etc.)”, “healthy”, or “competitive”, so if a jeans company claims its goods to be “survival of the fittest”, they’re saying two things at the same time: their jeans fit your legs nicely and their quality (or other factors) are among the best.
Another example is the word “strange”. In English it can mean either “odd” or “newly-acquainted”. So you can always claim:
“Every night I have a strange girl—the same girl—she’s just strange.”
More often than not, those innocent-looking words are great source of double entendres, such as “it”. “It” for some reason can have strong sexual connotation. It is an art to direct a woman’s thoughts to sex without actually talking about it. For example:
Doctors do it with patience.
Publishers do it by the book.
Bankers do it with interest.
Carpet layers do it on their knees.
Elevator operators do it going up and down.
A similar word is “in”:
“Isn’t it great to be in June?”
“Yes, but her sister, Barbara, was even better.”
But be careful, a large portion of double-entendres is moderate at best. If not using well, you’ll appear lame, which is worse than not saying it at all.
There are many frequently-used vocabularies that can serve as sources of ingenious jokes and brilliant lines, like the following. (Notice how often people say that and how easy it is to joke about them):
“I went to Harvard.”
(Yesterday—to the bookstore)
How long does it take to finish reading law degree?
(“L-A-W-D-E-G-R-E-E. Finished! That’s 3 seconds.)
Can you put this uncapped bottle upside-down without spilling water?
(Hold it over your head—“up”, at your side—“side”, then lower it—“down”. You’re done.)
Pick out words in her speech and joke about it. You may want to keep a straight face to increase the comical effect.
A special usage of double entendres is the construction of phrases such as “pretty ugly”, “old news”, “silent scream” (most of which have become cliché in nature). The technical term is called “oxymoron”. They are really some witty sayings we hear every day. For example:
Some are purely playing with the multiple meanings of a word:
“What do you call a deer with no eyes?”
“No-eye deer.” (Sounds like “no idea”.)
“Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm and leg in a car crash?”
“He’s all right now.”
“Where do you get virgin wool from?”
The funny thing about every language is the extension of its vocabulary’s literal meanings. We speak according to a set of social rules and apply various meanings of English words based on specific scenarios.
You can create funny sentences by using the words differently yet conforming to grammar rules.
For example, the word “call”—it can mean either “telephone” or “refer to”. So next time she says, “Call me a taxi/doctor”, you can simply call her “a taxi”. (e.g. “okay, you are a taxi/doctor”.) If she says she’ll go “window shopping” with her girlfriends, inquire how many windows she plans to buy.
You may have heard of that famous “riddle”—“Can you say the capital of all fifty states in less than a minute?” (Can you say “the capital of all fifty states” in less than a minute? The answer is 2 seconds. This is similar to the “law degree” example mentioned in the previous chapter.)
Another classic example is “not to tell” something. The implication of not telling something is that it should be kept as a secret. There are two ways to joke about this:
- State you can’t tell her/someone else that… (reveal it) (e.g. “I was told not to tell you that she made fun of you yesterday… oops…”)
- State you can’t tell her something… and that “something” is false. For example:
“I’m not allowed to say that my family is very rich.”
“Why not? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Mainly, because we ain’t rich.”
You can substitute all kinds of things here including the size of your manhood to get her to think sexually (only after you’ve developed a certain level of intimacy).
A handy preposition is “in”. So if next time she asks you to join her in a cup of coffee you can reply, “sure, if there is enough room.” Or if she says, “Yesterday I talked to John in my pajamas.” You can ask her, “How did he get into your pajamas?”
Girls like to ask: “what kind of husband or boyfriend should I get?” Just tell them, “Don’t touch other people’s husbands or boyfriends. Go get a single guy.”
If you are good at public speaking, the next time somebody asks you whether you experience stage fright, you can reply, “Believe me, it’s not the stage that frightens me… It’s the whole audience that scares the hell out of me.”
If you keep looking out, the possibilities are endless.
We take so many clichés for granted every single day.
As we nod our heads in agreement to those popular sayings, most of us are unaware of their “humor potential”.
By misinterpreting clichés or by stating the overlooked truths following many clichés, you can demonstrate to her you’re a creative and thoughtful person. For example:
“If 1000 monkeys sat typing at 1000 type writers, they’d produce Shakespeare—and the smell would be horrible.”
“The pen is mightier than the sword—and incredibly easier to write with.”
“If you can fool all the people some of the time—that’s good enough!”
“If at first you don’t succeed—modify your goal.”