Lippman to discuss book of puns at Village Books Nov. 10

Western Today staff

What do the USA bicentennial and "Worm Runner’s Digest" have to do with the development of a bundle of stories? Get answers to those questions and even more when Lou Lippman discusses his new book, "Wince A Pun On Thyme—Scientifically Crafted Tales," at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in the Readings Gallery at Village Books in Bellingham.

"Wince A Pun on Thyme" is a collection of 176 original vignettes, each culminating in a pun or spoonerism. The puns range from good (elicit a small groan) to excellent (produce a large groan and perhaps a chuckle).

The stories are aimed at the sophisticated lover of language who is acquainted with familiar phrases, clichés and aphorisms. The book is ideal for those with limited reading time whose lives are full of interruptions; those who seek small doses of levity or are looking for an amusing brain exercise.

The book features a foreword that describes how an intuition about enhancing the humor value of fables led to a series of empirical studies. The resulting evidence guided the structure of these tales—hence the reason for calling them “scientifically engineered.”

Lou Lippman grew up in San Diego, graduated from Stanford University and then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He taught experimental psychology courses at Western Washington University for 42 years. His research area focused on learning with occasional excursions into other topics, including sport psychology and humor.

Lippman wrote articles for "Worm Runner’s Digest" and "Journal of Irreproducible Results" (science humor) and is proud to be listed on editorial boards for "Annals of Improbable Research" and "Journal of Irreproducible Results."

Lippman did his best to become so busy with music that he had to give up his day job, which he did happily. He plays solo background piano music and performs with a variety of ensembles that include jazz standards, world music and Dixieland.