Friday, September 3, 2010

Contest: The Great Homophone Switch

by Meghan Conrad

We're always talking about how important it is to educate yourself about homophones and words that are commonly confused, but we don't often talk about why.

So here's why: Eight Cousins is a novel by Louisa May Alcott. If you get lazy with homophones, though, you end up with Ate Cousins, which is presumably a novel about zombies or families of cannibals. The Desert Rose by Larry McMurty becomes The Dessert Rose and goes from being a book about a showgirl to a book about a cake decorator on her way to creating the most beautiful icing flower ever.

Your challenge, then, is to come up with the best--the funniest, the most interesting--title that can be created by replacing one word with a homophone or a commonly confused word. The best titles get a prize--we'll think of something great to offer you.

Post your entries in Comments--include original title, your fun title, and a tag line defining the story (like the examples above). The contest closes Thursday morning, September 9, and winners will be announced the following week.


Lesley Speller said...

Hart of Darkness - the little known sequel to the Newhart Show in which Bob is a serial killer.

Touch of Ink said...

I love Ms Snarky Pants's book so much, I wasn't going to share mine, but here it is.

Original Title: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. About a boy raised by wolves in the jungle of India.

My Title: The Jingle Book. About a boy raised by advertising executives in the jungle of New York.

Bill Greer said...

Juan Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Threw the Looking Glass
The Princess and the Pee
The Son Also Rises
A Separate Piece
The Tail of Peter Rabbit
King Solomon's Mimes (ok, that's a typo, not a homophone)

Bill Greer said...

Oops, obviously I can't follow directions and didn't provide the original titles (I think we all know what they are) and a description. I'll leave off the descriptions and let people form their own mental images.

I have to admit that my mental image of King Solomon's Mimes cracks me up, but, then again, we're not supposed to laugh at our own jokes.

Erastes said...

The Handmade Tail by Margaret Atwood (the Handmaid's Tale)

After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, men make women for their entertainment

A Passage to India (A Passage to India)

A young woman journeys to India, finding it a rather bumpy ride ( this one only really works if you know that "passage" is an equestrian dressage movement, a highly elevated trot.)

J. Nelson Leith said...

The Old Man and the See - An elderly kidnapper sneaks into the Vatican to nab the Pope.

How Words End - The way different social classes in Edwardian England used suffixes.

Port Noise Complaint - The humorous monologue of a young Jewish bachelor living too close to the waterfront.

Eliza Knight said...

Originally THE TUDORS a tale of Henry VIII and his wives... renamed THE TOOTERS about a king and his wives who have a lot of...gas...

Origingally JANE EYRE a tale of a governess who falls in love with her employer... Renamed JANE AIR, about a woman with emphysema.

THE CANTERBURY TALES a medieval classic becomes THE CATERBURY TAILS a story about medieval booty...

Amy Ruttan said...

War and Peas--The Russian version of Plants vs. Zombies

Grate Expectations--When simple Cheese grating goes wrong.

The Canterbury Tails--A guide to getting some in Canterbury.

Amy Ruttan said...

Whoops, seems me and Eliza were thinking the same thing! LOL!

Sally Painter said...

The first two belong to my good bud and EC author, Ci!

That Witch Survives!
The lamenting of a Salem witch trial judge.
(That Which Survives by Ciana Stone)

All in Thyme
The thyme lovers cookbook.
(All in Time by Ciana Stone)


This Sex Witch is Not One
The untold story of searching for the right political candidate.
(This Sex Which Is Not One by Luce Irigaray, Catherine Porter, and Carolyn Burke)

Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Hole Brain Learning
The book that proves you can teach people who have a hole in their heads.
(Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Whole Brain Learning (Orange) by Paul E. Dennison Ph.D. and Gail E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison)

And the Sirens Still Whale
The illegal whaling activities of the Sirens in the South Sea.
(And the Sirens Still Wail by Nancy Burke)

Robin L. Rotham said...

King Leer -- Shakespear's dirty old king who descends into madness after wrongfully distributing his estate based on abundance of cleavage.

Brave Gnu World -- Aldous Huxley's portrayal of a future ruled by wildebeests.

Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Cums -- Duck!

Mardi Ballou said...


Weighting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

New and improved?:

Weighting for Godot:

Dude obviously can't win without help from his buds

(by Mardi Ballou)

Mardi Ballou said...

Oops --

Original by Beckett was

Waiting for Godot

Mardi Ballou said...

As long as I'm on a roll (or role?) --

The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams becomes

The Knight of the Iguana -- Exploits of the little known master of chivalry, from deep in the jungles of Guatemala

Okay, I'll go back to work

Nina Pierce said...

The Grate Gatspy (The Great Gatspy) - Underground tunnels of NY harbor a homeless man hellbent on striking it rich.

Four Whom the Belle Toles (For Whom the Bell Tolls) - an exotic tale of a young woman's fantasies of orgies and erotic metal work

Carla Swafford said...

Eat Pray Love, a woman’s yearlong search to find who she really is after her divorce.

Eat Prey Love, Jeffery Dahmer’s life story

(I’m really not mentally warped. I swear.)

ECPI Editors said...

Hey, Carla, there is a real book coming out the end of this month titled "Eat, Prey, Love". It's by Kerrelyn Sparks, part of her Love at Stake vampire series.


Carla Swafford said...

Funny. I almost made it a vampire story and decided to go more gruesome. :-)

Carla Swafford said...

Since the other one turns out to be a real title of a book...

To Kill A Mockingbird - a young girl discovers injustice in the deep South during the 1930's.

To Kiln A Mockingbird - a young girl strives for the perfect ceramic mockingbird. Subtitle: How I Deal With My OCD.

Juliette Dupree said...

Mettle: Mental Toughness for Law Enforcement Training

Meddle: Mental Toughness for Mother-in-Law Endurance Training

The Caine Mutiny. The story of life--and mutiny--on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater.

The Cane Mutiny. The story of horny old men who rebel against the nursing home staff who try to prevent their attempt to sneak out to a singles bar.

The Botanical Palette. An instructional guide to focus entirely on the art of color in botanical painting.

The Botanical Palate. The chronicle of a GMO scientist who went a little too far with gene-splicing his plants, and found they had a taste for blood...his.

Laid Bare (by Lauren Dane)
A police officer and a wild rocker chick rekindle their old flame...but a best friend adds searing heat to the fire when he joins in.

Laid Bear. A misguided animal rights activist gets more than she bargained for when she camps in the wilderness, trying to develop a bond with a male bear...during mating season.

Barbara Elsborg said...


my title - Glad He Ate Her

How faced with the choice of going out for hot dogs and missing the game - he stayed in and made the best use of what was on offer.

Anonymous said...

Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve. About a journalist who escapes an abusive marriage.

My title: Strange Fits of Fashion. About a journalist who learns to love harem pants and open-toed boots.

Cornelia Grey said...

I think Nelson Leith's elderly Pope kidnapper is possibly the best thing since nutella :)!

I'm thinking how some titles don't even need to be tweaked to sound... just wrong.

Let's take 'the princess and the pea': in Italian it's slightly different, 'the princess ON the pea'.
Now, bearing in mind that 'pea' in Italian is the most common euphemism for 'penis'...


kaenar said...

I hope I'm not to late. Here are my offerings.

A Thousand and One Knights- Medieval story of one woman's sexual journey.

The Tortoise and The Hair- classic children's tale of Turtle and his search for the perfect toupee.

7 Tools to Beet Addiction- weighty tome for those who find their need to have borscht and beet salad is affecting their ability to cope with day to day living.

Dan Brown's The Lost Cymbal- in this latest spine tingling novel in the series follow our hero as he risks murder and mayhem at the Julliard School of Music looking for Professor Lightmeter's lost cymbal.

Crewel and Unusual Punishment- seemingly mild mannered cross-stitcher has a very naughty secret life.

Aye of the Needle- Ken Follett's run away best seller rewritten for pirate lovers

And my favourite- Travels with My Ant- Follow the heart warming story of a young boy who tours America with his pet ant. Spoiler- he makes the mistake of taking his beloved pet to the zoo to see the anteaters. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Have a wonderful day and thanks EC for the opportunity to stretch my very twisted brain.


kaenar said...

Nice one. I hope I'm not too late.

kaenar said...

Someone just sent me this joke and I couldn't resist posting it as it goes so perfectly with the blog theme.

Paddy is passing by Mick's hay shed one day when through a gap in the door he sees Mick doing a slow and sensual striptease in front of an old red Massey Ferguson.

Buttocks clenched he performs a slow pirouette and gently slides off first the right welly, followed by the left.

He then hunches his shoulders forward and in a classic striptease move lets his braces fall down from his shoulders to dangle by his hips over his corduroy trousers .

Grabbing both sides of his checked shirt he rips it apart to reveal his tea stained vest underneath and with a final flourish he hurls his flat cap on to a pile of hay.

'What on earth are you doing Mick' says Paddy.

'Jeez Paddy, ye frightened the livin bejasus out of me' says an obviously embarrassed Mick, 'but me and the Missus been having some trouble lately in the bedroom department, and the Therapist suggested I do something sexy to a tractor."