'This book is delightful. Aarons takes us on a whirlwind tour of a wide range of linguistic phenomena—Gricean maxims, deixis, lexical semantics, negative polarity, quantification, morphological reanalysis, phonological assimilation, syntactic ambiguity and recursion, to name just a few—all through the medium of de dicto humor and language play. As she amply illustrates, explaining jokes (or "killing” them by linguistic analysis) is much more complicated than simply “getting” them. But the fact that we do get jokes demonstrates that we are able to call upon some sophisticated yet tacit linguistic knowledge, bringing it momentarily to consciousness via a surprising little disruption of our normal grammatical and communicative routines. I certainly plan to incorporate some of her analyses (and of course, the jokes themselves) into my undergraduate linguistics courses.' – Donna Lardiere, Georgetown University, USA
'Is linguistics boring? Certainly not in this book! Many of the jokes Debra Aarons discusses can easily be turned into enjoyable teaching lessons.' – Janet Bing, Old Dominion University, USA
Debra Aarons is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New South Wales in Australia.