Monday, December 20, 2010

When Deadspin, wordplay and China meet

I've posted about this before, but the funny people over at Deadspin keep 'em coming. Sampling of comments on this post about a Chinese hurdler:

This reminds me of a chapter in Deborah Fallows's book Dreaming in Chinese subtitled "Language play as a national sport," wherein the author describes the role of punning in Chinese humor. She writes:

Such language play works because the Chinese sound system uses only about 400 syllables, compared to 4,000 in English.... Because of its spare syllable structure, Chinese offers a heyday for punsters, jokesters, storytellers, blogers, twitterers and other language mavens.

Deadspin's comments have more depth than perhaps even the commenters realize.

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