Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Behind the Books: Super Silly Science Jokes, Courtesy of Homographs

You probably learned about homographs in middle school, but here a refresher. A homograph is a word with two or more different meanings. One example is the word spot. It can mean “to see” or “a round mark or stain.”

You can create a question that seems to use one definition of the word and an answer that uses the other.

Q: Is it hard to spot a leopard?
A: No, they come that way.

Here’s another example:

Q: Why was the asteroid unhappy?
A: He knew he’d never be a star.

Here’s a homograph joke that only makes sense if you recall something you probably learned in fourth grade but might not have though about in, er, a bunch of years. Earth has four layers—the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. Hope you like it.

Q: How is Earth like a piece of bread?
A: It has a crust.

Now it’s your turn. Can you or the kids you know think of jokes that use these homographs?

• rock (a natural object made of minerals/a kind of music/a back-and-forth movement)
• ear (the organ of hearing/corn on the cob)
• bill (what a bird uses to eat/something you pay)

Feel free to post your best jokes in the comments. We could all use a good laugh.

Be on the lookout for more joke-writing posts in the future. And check out the Super Silly Science Jokes I post on Friday.

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