STRATEGIES OF THE COMIC. PARAPHRASING AN IDIOM (THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE AND THE JOKE)
The objective of the paper is to attract attention to the expansion of the experimental metaphor, typical for modern verbal communication. Special emphasis is put on the facts that confirm the active use of idioms in the language play. The paper gives examples that illustrate (1) the tactics of hinting prompts, (2) methods of using idioms in the lit- eral sense, (3) “flickering” meanings, extracted by the reader from the reconstructed subtext, supertext, or context. Contamination neutralizing inter-genre differences between the crossword and the joke, which is characteristic of modern language play rhetoric, is discussed. It is shown that in such cases, the author that provides the information per- forms a supertask. For example, a joke about a scientist who is solving a crossword puzzle and seeks to find an antonym for the word eureka, has the comic effect accompanied by a chain of derivative associations. Healing “prescriptions” are clad in phraseological units prompted by the context. In this case, the ultimate sense, or gist, of the joke acts as an implicative model of an “if... then...” type. Wits stimulate the creativity of a reader solving a riddle (a crossword puzzle), or interpreting a biased joke. The material studied demonstrates the vastness of the creative potential of the natural language and confirms the heuristic effectiveness of experimenters engaged in language play rhetoric.