10.06.2008

Epic Pun: A Defense of Leaves n' Leavin'

When the my personal ethos is challenged and ridiculed by someone who simply decides to open up a rhyming dictionary, I must respond. Not only do these pun-sults reveal, as Obama recently said of McCain's new attacks, "a campaign that is running out of ideas," but they also obscure for our readers the meaning of "leaves n' leavin'." I hope this serves as both a defense as well as an explanation.

The main problem with replacing a rhyming word like "thieves" or "sleeves" with "leaves" is that the phrase becomes self-reflexive. Thieves ARE thieving, yes, but does that mean anything? Is that even a pun when it stands alone or is it simply a joke on the far superior "leaves n' leavin?" Does the new statement have anything larger to tell us about the human condition? Well, no, it doesn't.

The beauty of leaves n' leavin' is that it refers to two separate things - objects known as leaves which are synonymous with Fall, and the act of leaving - and unites them to embody nostalgia in its purest form. The phrase can be used as shorthand, as a symbol, in fact, to capture a landscape, an event, or an experience which causes one to stand back in awe and realize the importance of the current moment in the whole scope of one's personal storyline. When you're sharing one last brew with your best bros on the porch you've been sharing for so long, or when you feel the crisp Fall air rush by your face as you walk hand in hand with a new girlfriend or boyfriend, you don't need to write a fucking paragraph to express your feelings at this moment - you can just say or think the phrase "leaves n' leavin'." The pun isn't funny as much as it is convenient. By referring to an object that embodies the autumnal spirit as well as the nostalgia-filled act of saying goodbye while ALSO making a pun, the phrase is full of rich and varied meaning.

As I already mentioned but as you now can see more clearly, other iterations of this phrase don't hold up to scrutiny. Sure, it's funny to rhyme words, but non-sensical phrases already seem to be in abundance in this increasingly irrational post-modern world. Do we need any more? "Sleeves n' Sleevin'" for example. "Sleevin'" isn't a separate concept from "sleeves" and, in this case, it isn't even a word. We could come up with equally absurd phrases if we applied the same logic to other rhymes of "leaves." Here are some:
Sieves n' Sievin'
Cleaves n' Cleavin'
Weaves n' Weavin'
Cheves n' Chevin'
Greaves n' Greavin'
Grieves n' Grievin'
Ask Jeeves n' Jeevin'
(For more rhymes check out this)
None of these rhymes warrant more than a ephemeral chuckle compared to the power of leaves n' leavin'. And for a contributor who recently posted an article challenging the meaninglessness of current hipster culture, I find such "peacock"-displaying tactics rather odd.

So as we always like to ask on Epic Blog: Is this sweet? I've presented my side. I'll let you decide. I'll leave you with my favorite leaves rhyme: Steve's and Stephen

(Thanks to Hot Eatz and his Children of the Pun. No Depression, guys.)

7 comments:

Andy said...

got em

jessica said...

eaves n' evenin'?

leaves n' leavin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leaves n' leavin said...

too many syllables. eaves and even would be better. or Eves and even.

OKAAAAAAAAAAAYGUYS said...

Did I ever tell you guys about the time I made a list of 100 famous Steves?

Andy said...

no, matt. please elaborate

Coaltrain said...

i just want to re-iterate b/c i didn't read this until now -- dave just pwn3d the shit of you guys.

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