I Don't Get Them Jokes..

Sibeling

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I'm not Detritus when it comes to jokes, but sometimes I don't understand what Pratchett means by this or that. Could anyone explain, for example, what is this about?

In Interesting Times Mr Saveloy explains their plan to Rincewind:

'We have a plan. It's sort of-' Mr Saveloy hesitated. His eyes unfocused slightly. 'You know? Thing. Bees do it. Wasps too. Also some jellyfish, I believe... Had the word only a moment ago... er. It's going to be the biggest one ever, I think.'

Bees and wasps fly, jellyfish swim, and the barbarians want to take the Emperors place. So what does Teach mean by saying all that?
 

Urlik

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Bees, wasps and some jellyfish sting, and a sting is "A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care"
 

Sibeling

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Bees, wasps and some jellyfish sting, and a sting is "A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care"

Thanks! :D I wouldn't have guessed that - I didn't now that jellyfish sting.
 

Sibeling

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Ok, I got one more question. From Interesting Times, again:

'Gotta date when all this is over,' said Caleb, a little shyly, thinking wistfully of one of the few women he'd ever had a conversation with. 'She's got her own farm, she said. I could be all right for a duck.'

Does that last sentence mean something indecent? :D
 

The Ace

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Pratchet's using the old 'Tonal Differences,' gag in 'Interesting Times.' All of the dialogue was originally in Agatean (Chinese) in which the way a word is pronounced varies the meaning, a classic example being Cohen's threat of 'A kick in the ornamental chicken coops.' Much of the humour in this book derives from the Silver hoarde's rough-and-ready approach to a language whose subtleties are beyond them, a duck is probably an obscene reference, but it could mean anything, even a duck.
 

Urlik

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isn't Caleb refering to the woman he spoke with earlier who was selling ducks at the market?
but there is also enough room for it to be a double entendre of course :D
 

bitteroldhag

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I have noticed that Americans don't get half of Pratchett's jokes and puns. that makes him more fun to read for us. My British friends think he's just a person who puns a lot, but we don't get most of them so we take them at face value. We find him hilarious, but our British friends (snobs) think he's ridiculous. Interesting, isn't it?
 

Sibeling

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Many people I know consider his books silly because of all the funny things in them, but they simply fail to see that under all the jokes and puns there are Ideas.

Anyway, here's another question about the jokes, from Soul Music.

The things that were written on the poster advertising The Bande With Rockes :D. Why do they wrote this on the poster:
'They Are Totallye Unable To Bee Seene! And A Long Way Oute!'

Is that an allusion to something or just a joke?
 

Who's Wee Dug

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I have noticed that Americans don't get half of Pratchett's jokes and puns. that makes him more fun to read for us. My British friends think he's just a person who puns a lot, but we don't get most of them so we take them at face value. We find him hilarious, but our British friends (snobs) think he's ridiculous. Interesting, isn't it?
I don't think that Pterry is in the least ridiculous.maybe there are the sort who are threatened by a good Author who is popular and funny ,frightened they might enjoy reading real books for a change and not what is on the Booker list Etc.or make their stiff upper whatsit quiver:eek:
 

Fahim

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Honestly, I'm not even sure how anybody who's read PTerry can think that his books are silly or ridiculous. But then again, that's probably where the issue is - the people who don't like his books probably have never read them :) I can't imagine reading his books and then not finding how deeply insightful they are - or maybe that's just me ...
 

Culhwch

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I think that they are in (large) parts silly and riduculous, but are throughout well-written and far more insightful and human than a lot of the dross passing itself off as 'Literature'. I guess though there's a difference in writing the whole thing off as just silly, as opposed to embracing the silliness.

I mean, come on, what's not silly about Nobby Nobbs? Or a nation called Llamedos? Or a vampire photojournalist?
 

Fahim

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I mean, come on, what's not silly about Nobby Nobbs? Or a nation called Llamedos? Or a vampire photojournalist?

Personally, I don't find any of that silly at all - given that you accept the parameters for the world in question. Of course, if you try to put all those things in "our" world, then it would become silly. I find killing other people over a bit of territory or trying to tell others how to live their own lives far more sillier in our own world but that's just me ...
 

Lenny

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You could argue that Pratchett's very early works are bordering silly, but the more into Discworld you get, the less silly they become, and the more they make sense.

Though I'm still left wondering why the potatoes. :p Surely not simply because they're boring? I can think of even more boring things than potatoes to eat.
 

Culhwch

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Personally, I don't find any of that silly at all - given that you accept the parameters for the world in question. Of course, if you try to put all those things in "our" world, then it would become silly. I find killing other people over a bit of territory or trying to tell others how to live their own lives far more sillier in our own world but that's just me ...

I get your point, but I can see the flip side too. I can't believe anyone would refuse to read Pratchett merely because they think he's 'silly', but that's their loss. I read it because it's silly, and ridiculous, and ludicrous, and funny, and because it's heartfelt, and insightful, and moving, and just plain brilliant.
 

Allegra

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I read it because it's silly, and ridiculous, and ludicrous, and funny, and because it's heartfelt, and insightful, and moving, and just plain brilliant.

Exactly why I love TP's books! It's amazing Mr. Pratchett can write about two a year and they are consistently good! When a new book comes out we don't even need to read reviews just go get it and enjoy it.:)
 

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