But the Tom Swift books contained more than adventure - they were noted for a style of adverbial puns that have come to be known as Tom Swifties. The Tom Swift writers replaced the word 'said' in dialog with adverbs that related to the statement. As in "I hate milking cows," Tom uttered. Or the writers added the modifier after the word 'said', as in "I shall not leave you a penny when I die," said Tom willfully. As someone who really likes a good pun, I am a fan of Tom Swifties. While Tom is the standard speaker, sometimes another person is substituted to complete the joke. One of the best-known Tom Swifties falls into this group:
"Who discovered radium?" asked Marie curiously.
So, here are a few Tom Swifties - warning, one is a bit risque, but too funny to omit:
- "Look out! A golf ball!" Tom forewarned.
- "I can't believe my car was towed!" Tom expounded.
- “I have a BA in social work,” said Tom with a degree of concern.
- "My grape juice has fermented," Tom whined.
- "I'm impotent," Tom said softly.
- "I dropped my toothpaste," Tom said crestfallen.
- “Hallelujah,” Tom said handily.
- “I’ve struck oil!” said Tom crudely.
- “May I introduce the family Stone?” Tom asked slyly.
- “This is mutiny!” said Tom bountifully.
- "I was caught stealing in Iran", said Tom offhandedly.
- "Y'all I'm leavin'", said Dolly, partin'.
- "It's 9:59", said Tom pretentiously.
- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", said Clark Gable rhetorically.
"If you liked these Tom Swifties, try writing some of your own," said Leah authoritatively. (Must stop myself from more sentences like that - so, good-bye!)