Art of Public Speaking:
Words are Amusing
Some words are simply funnier than others. You learn that early in your study of the
art of public speaking. Your word choice can be the key to creating a successful witty line or a dud. All professional comedy writers agree on the following fact. The sound of certain words can virtually guarantee a laugh. In particular, the 'K' sound in words is the granddaddy of all
amusing sounds. In Neil Simon's play, The Sunshine Boys, Willy, a main character, gives his nephew a lecture about comedy:
"Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know what words are
amusing and which words are not amusing. Alka Seltzer is amusing. You say "Alka Seltzer" you get a laugh . . . Words with "k" in them are
amusing. Casey Stengel, that's a amusing name. Robert Taylor is not amusing. Cupcake is
amusing. Tomato is not amusing. Cookie is amusing. Cucumber is amusing. Car keys. Cleveland . . . Cleveland is
amusing. Maryland is not amusing. Then, there's chicken. Chicken is amusing. Pickle is
Is "Spea-king" amusing? Or Publick, as in the old spelling? If that be your aim, being
amusing is part of the art of public speaking. Even if you are not "amusing", being humorous, so to better connect with your audience is definitely a part of the
art of public speaking.
Someone actually researched why the 'k' sound is amusing. It has something to do with the sounds we, as babies, associated with comfort. Like cootchie-coo, cuddle, cozy, etc. Note that these words don't have a 'K' in them, but they have the 'K' sound. Kinda Crazy, huh? Or how about Captain Kangaroo? That brings up a
amusing thought or two.
Those turkeys over at XYA (remember no Z's allowed) company can't hold a candle to our team of installers.
I'll bet you a cupcake to a cucumber the blue team will outsell the gold team.
So kids, keep on keeping on in your art of public speaking.
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