Friday, July 29, 2011

The Cunning Linguist by Richard Lederer

Richard Lederer is a well known lover of the English Language, having published such works as "Anguished English: An anthology of unintentional assaults upon our language", "Get thee to a Punnery", "More Anguished English", "The Bride of Anguished English", "Crazy English", "The Play of Words" and "Pun and Games", among others. While normally, he stays classy and avoids jokes or puns that reference sex, this book lets it all hang out with jokes based on English that rely on the dirty minds of the readers.

Not blatantly, of course, but in a way that is still hilarious all on its own. For example, for those men who think their lives are bad, compare yourself to an egg. You only get laid once, you only get eaten once. To get hard, you have to be boiled, and it takes you two minutes to get soft, you have to share a box with eleven other guys, and the only woman who ever sat on your face was your mother...

It's these sort of jokes that fill the book, but none of them actually cross over the line from "Suggestive" to "Outright lewd". Over ten chapters of these jokes make it clear that this isn't a book to be read straight through. Instead, it's one to be savored a bit at a time. Sometimes you might be able to go a chapter or two before you have to put the book down to stop your sides from hurting, but sometimes you might have to stop after only a few pages and take a break.

These jokes are also clean enough to be shared in more or less polite company without raising eyebrows, and a lot of them will go over the heads of even children, though you may want to be careful if your children are very intelligent, as they will probably be able to figure out that something is going on.

I enjoyed this whole book, but one of my favorite parts of the book was the pictures with the suggestive titles. "A nice ass" beneath a picture of a donkey; a picture of some Navy guys with the title "Seamen", and so on. it invoked gales of laughter from me and was the chapter that took the longest for me to read. Truly excellent book that will really appeal to those who enjoy slightly naughty laughter, and the last joke in the book is the only one that departs from the standard of what has gone before.

So, despite being full of slightly naughty (and if you are British 0-y) stuff, this book is something that won't make you worry if kids find and look at it. Most of them won't understand it, and neither will anyone who is too unimaginative or innocent-minded. For those who are less innocent and lovers of words, this book is a never-ending delight, similar to other books by Richard Lederer, like "Get Thee to a Punnery" or the Anguished English books.

Richard Lederer is an accomplished author who has given lovers of words and wordplay plenty of material to laugh at over the years, and despite this book being very naughty and dealing with sex, this book is no less funny or amusing. Anyone who loves English and plays on words (and jokes and puns that take a dirty mind to get), will want this book on their bookshelves. Highly recommended.

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