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Opening Arguments

Word play

Saving old barns is a worthy effort made even more likeable by the cleverness of preservationists in naming the project:

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana will co-sponsor a March workshop called "Barn Again!" focusing on ways to maintain, rehabilitate and adapt old barns for contemporary needs.

Even if the word play only makes you smile instead of laugh, you appreciate the wit that went into it. It's brilliant because it accurately describes the endeavor and makes sense on its own terms. That's something many headline writers need to learn. They too often try to be clever just for cleverness' sake, whether the pun makes sense on its own or not.

Two more examples come to mind. A recent "Jeopardy!" had a category devoted to drinking stories in Scripture (such as Noah getting drunk and passing out in his tent after the flood), and the category was named "imbiblers." That's genius at work, that is. And I heard a comedian on the radio say recently that we no longer should ask, "dot or feather?" when told something about an Indian. Now, it should be, "tech support or casino?" Twisted genius.