undekatakanifiable puns

04.15.2017 § Leave a comment

I’ve been in Japan for almost three months and just realized that two amusing things I’ve encountered follow a pattern: they are puns on words which have been converted into katakana, and are only possible after conversion into katakana.

Information is lost when converting to katakana. The distinction between many vowels is lost, as there are only five vowel sounds in Japanese (something like 20 in English). The distinction between r and l is lost; both become the Japanese consonant r which is somewhere between r and l. The distinction between syllable terminal m and n is lost; both become the Japanese consonant n which ends up sounding like an n or an m depending on the voicing of the consonant beginning the next syllable.

Consider two words which in their native language would not be similarly enough pronounced to make puns out of. Once converted into katakana, their pronunciations are simplified and converge such that they are similar enough to make puns out of. Thus they are un-de-katakan-ifi-able puns.

Here’s the examples I’ve found so far.


Sherlock Holmes + rock n’ roll = Sherlock n’ Roll!


pain (French for bread, pronounced pɛ̃) + lampshade = pampshade


smooth + zoo = smoozoo



01.23.2016 § Leave a comment

a type of poem which follows the form of an anagram but instead of each line starting with the letter of the vertical word, a word which doesn’t start with that letter is chosen and it is misspelled to start with that letter (which may or may not also be a word, or you can just add or delete letters, as long as the word you intend is recognizable, if only from context)

For example:



spliced names

04.27.2015 § Leave a comment

  1. Albert Randal Bertrand
  2. Abragrahamilton
  3. Rebecky
  4. Alvincent Calvincent Kevincent Marvincent
  5. Harvis Marvey Jarvin
  6. Jasperry Walterry Lesterry Peterry Reubenjaminsteresa
  7. Landonaldous Brandonaldous Byronaldous Rogeraldous Archibaldous
  8. Irwinfrederick Patrichard Cedricardoyle Ericardoris Borishmael
  9. Beatrisharold Alisharondonna
  10. Zacharold Isaacarrie Z’chloey
  11. Cyntheodorian
  12. Estobartholomew
  13. Alexandrew Elmirandrew
  14. Antom Christophil Joseth
  15. Oscarson Connorson
  16. Gordonny Aaronny
  17. Kirk Kurt Kirby
  18. Ryon
  19. Gleonard
  20. Sebaschandler
  21. Kelseymourtimer
  22. Klyle Elyle
  23. Nedward
  24. Camildredna
  25. Justin Jason Jay Stan
  26. Jessicathereynold
  27. Amya
  28. Angelinus
  29. Caroland
  30. Jacquinn
  31. Sinclarissa
  32. Sophoebebe
  33. Gregarett Roregisergerry
  34. Colleendsey
  35. Bethanigel Ethaniles Leomarjordaniel
  36. Stephaninancy
  37. Veronicole Dominicholas Simonichols
  38. Karen Erin Ren
  39. Franchester
  40. Salfiona
  41. Haydennis Cadenny
  42. Samyul
  43. Susannabellenora
  44. Gwendellindsay Owendalon
  45. Debrabara
  46. Maddison Alysonya
  47. Felisallydia
  48. Gertrudy
  49. Kimberlyndsey
  50. Eugeannifergie
  51. Jillianna
  52. Sarachelen Shelbevshirley
  53. Douglance Halan
  54. Holliver
  55. Tamelanie
  56. Celester Leslibby
  57. Quentimothibauld
  58. Jodierdre
  59. Charlogan
  60. Marcuster
  61. Emmatticus
  62. Louisabellaine
  63. Natashawayne Shaunnon
  64. Michaelroy
  65. Henrieddie
  66. Benry
  67. Christrina
  68. Aikennethel
  69. Gabrielsa
  70. Jodie Judie Julie Jolie
  71. Stevanessabriandre
  72. Jeremily
  73. Glorian
  74. Sharriet
  75. Taylorraine Tyleen
  76. Carleen
  77. Garthur
  78. Heatherbert Norburton
  79. Emmitchellton
  80. Prescotto
  81. Treymond Treycy Trevirma Trevis Travor
  82. Aubryce
  83. Breese Bruth Bluke Blaiken
  84. Ernold Barnest Arney Bernor Vernard (Fern)
  85. Flawrence
  86. Brendaphneal
  87. Kaysey
  88. Samandamon
  89. Hectorson
  90. Dexterrance
  91. Pameliam
  92. Augustuartemis
  93. Davery
  94. Midgeoffrida Humphritzgeraldinah
  95. Clyvde
  96. Clairk
  97. Dustan Danley
  98. Johank
  99. Tobiastridley Phinneaster
  100. Jebediana
  101. Calebron
  102. Constacy
  103. Dereka
  104. Candacelina
  105. Murraya
  106. Melisa
  107. Kimelinda Jezebelinda
  108. Tessandrea
  109. Broocolint
  110. Drupert
  111. Maryjanet
  112. Stevelyn
  113. Elijacob
  114. Maximilliam Maxwilliam Maxingrid
  115. Delillian
  116. Jackeith Olivickieran Victorrance
  117. Joschuyler
  118. Caitlindell
  119. Pwesley
  120. Kriley
  121. Baisley
  122. Shayley
  123. Lucasey Lucilia
  124. Merrittdith
  125. Jonald Donas

Chekhov’s MacGuffin

08.29.2014 § Leave a comment

As a MacGuffin, would have to be:
  1. an object whose inherent nature is irrelevant, and which
  2. functions as a place-holding constant driving goal of the plot.

However, as a Chekhov’s thing, it must both:

  1. eventually have the effect of its inherent nature executed on, and
  2. besides the two moments of first its initial mentioning and then its ultimate use, be otherwise left unaddressed.

So on both aspect 1 and aspect 2, MacGuffins and Chekhov’s things are exactly opposites.

Also, I just like how it sounds, since “MacGuffin” has the same phonetic ‘guh’ sound as “gun”. Plus the juxtaposition of Chekhov being such a Russian name and MacGuffin being such a Scottish name is amusing, too.


How to pronounce Cmloegcmluin

05.06.2014 § Leave a comment


In layman’s terms, take the “shm” sound from “consequences, shmonsequences” then add on the word “leg.” Then repeat the “shm” and add the first syllable of “linear”. One could write the word “Shmlegshmlin” for a more intuitive pronunciation, and indeed I used to spell it that way before I developed the General American English phonemic transcription which I use for sound poetry today.

So, no, it’s not kuh-muh-low-igg-kuh-muh-loo-inn. It’s just two syllables. Sounds like a diminutive demon.

Bonus question: what does Cmloegcmluin mean? I don’t quite know yet.

Nicholasmas Even

05.06.2014 § Leave a comment

Saint Eve’s
ain’t Steve,
‘n Steve’s
ain’t St. Eve.

Consonant Cycling

01.05.2014 § 2 Comments

For fun, as a Pig Latin sort of thing, you can take the consonants of each word and cycle them against the vowels. For example, David Foster Wallace becomes:

Dadiv Rofset Ceawall

As you can see, I didn’t simply move the consonants. I was working by sound, rather than writing, and used the spelling of the word as I could. Had I simply moved them by writing, I’d’ve gotten “Cawlale”, which has appeal of its own, but I prefer to preserve as much of the phonetic content of the original as well as reasonable spelling to back it up. So I would pronounce “Ceawall” not like “SEA wall”, but as “SAH-wull”, retaining the vowel sounds from his actual last name.

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