A Quick Wordplay Challenge. Fun. Prizes.

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by Larry Brooks on May 25, 2010

Let’s have some fun.

Last night I was watching an episode of The United States of Tara, Showtime’s brilliant Spielberg-produced series starring Toni Collette as a wife afflicted with multiple personalities.

Yeah, like that never happens.

What I saw that inspired today’s idea had nothing to do with the story.  As a background piece of business, an artist character was working on a series of framed posters that took a normal word and broke it into two syllables which, when viewed as two words, had a completely separate and clever meaning.

Like the word warhead, for example.  Split it, and you get war head.  

The image you get from the whole word is a bomb.  The image you get from the separate word is the face of Donald Rumsfeld.

And that’s when it came to me.  This is cool.  I began playing with other words and found the exercise sort of fun.  Not only by coming up with splitable words, but with sarcastic little defintions that apply to the new creation.

Like the word carpet, for example.  Split it into car pet, and you get the image of a dog sticking its snout out the window of a moving vehicle.

Or the word earnest, which, when split into ear nest, brings to mind an image of the stuff growing out of the side of Larry King’s head.

Or — one more example — the word panache.  Split into pan ache, you have the feeling you get when your wife smacks you upside the head with a skillet.

You get the drift.

So here’s the challenge:

Give us your best shot at this.  Or shots.

Come up with a word that can be split into two syllables that, when viewed as a pair of words, have a completely separate meaning than the original word.

To spice things up, I’ll be “judging” not only the cleverness of the word(s) choice, but also the clever defintion of the new term (see examples above) as well. 

Two more examples. 

The word subdue splits into sub due: what happens when you promise someone a sandwich and it’s time to pay up.

The word sublime splits into sub lime: what you stuff into a bottle of Corona beer while traveling in a submarine.  Really.

Okay, not exactly Jim Carey, but you get the drift.

Put your best shot(s) in the Comment thread, and I’ll announce the “winner” next Monday.

Winner of what?  One of my ebooks (your choice) to the first three places.  And bragging rights. 

Tell your friends, everyone is welcome, so let’s have some fun with this.

And remember, on Monday we begin our deconstruction of An Education, a character-driven Oscar-nominated film that teaches us much about story structure in films and novels in which nobody gets blown up or kidnapped.  Just seduced and betrayed.

Donut.  Do nut.  Anybody got a one-liner that one?

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