Tuesday, May 16, 2023

More Tom Swifties


The other day at 5 a.m. I woke up abruptly and couldn’t fall back to sleep. My brain was restless but had nothing to do, so it just started cranking out Tom Swifties, one after another, rapid-fire. (If you don’t know what a Tom Swifty is, check out my prior blog post here.) I don’t have time to write much this week, and no ideas, so I figured I’d just compile the new Swifties and be done with it. Alas, after I finally fell back asleep for like twenty minutes and reawakened, all the Swifties were gone. So I’m starting from scratch here.

ChatGPT Tom Swifties

Now, many a modern person, faced with a deadline and writer’s block, would turn to ChatGPT. This didn’t occur to me until my project was well underway and my brother suggested it (perhaps tongue-in-cheek, as he’s read my anti-ChatGPT posts herehere, and here). By the same token, you might wonder, “Why would I read this albertnet post when I can just ask ChatGPT for some Tom Swifties?” The answer is, because ChatGPT’s suck! Just to make this point, and so you’ll properly appreciate my Swifties, I’ll start with a few AI-generated ones.

Here are some Swifties from ChatGPT:

  • “I won the marathon,” Tom said runningly.
  • “I’ll have the seafood platter,” Tom said fishily.
  • “I’ll take the train,” Tom said railingly.

WTF? Seriously? Since when is “runningly” even a word and what would it mean? I wasn’t expecting much, but ChatGPT did even worse than I’d expected. I decided to see if it could do better creating puns involving the verb rather than an adverb. I asked it, “Write some tom swifties with no adverbs.” Here are some of its responses:

  • “I’m terrible at baseball,” Tom said bat-terly.
  • “I feel so refreshed after a shower,” Tom said towel-dry.
  • “I can’t wait to go swimming,” Tom said eagerly.

Again, WTF?! Did ChatGPT not understand the prompt? Well, it said at the end, “I hope you enjoy these Tom Swifties without adverbs!” I guess if we’re going to be really technical about it, “bat-terly” isn’t even a word, so it can’t be an adverb, but it’s pretty obvious that if it were a word, it would be an adverb. In all ten responses to this prompt, ChatGPT’s verb was “said,” so clearly it missed the point. Why do some many people seem so impressed by this AI? Unbelievable.

Okay, on to the real Swifties. A few of these are from my daughter.

Tom Swifties

“The sample weighs 28 grams,” Tom announced.

“Please don’t leave me a bad review!” Tom yelped.

 “I should have warned him about the banana peel,” Tom let slip.

 “It’s so helpful that you bagged everything up for me,” said Tom gladly.

“If you smoke that weed, you’ll be useless all afternoon,” Tom said bluntly.

“I own the mineral rights here,” Tom claimed.

“I like hot dogs,” Tom said frankly.

“He’s my brother,” Tom related.

“Return to the back of the ship immediately,” Tom said sternly.

“It’s either a solid, a liquid, or a gas,” Tom stated.

“You’re welcome to borrow my old-school landline phone,” Tom said cordially.

 “We’re being attacked by a humpback!” Tom wailed.

 “No, no, no, no, no,” Tom said knowingly.

“It’s the odor of a skunk,” Tom said distinctly.

“A martini should always be made with vodka,” Tom said, with absolute certainty.

“I guess you can see right through me,” Tom said clearly.

“Above all, I’m a company man,” said Tom firmly.

“Spray ‘n’ Wash isn’t the only way to get stains out!” Tom shouted.

“She’s all into cultivating flowers,” Tom mumbled.

 “You may be judged for cohabitating before marriage,” Tom insinuated.

“I’ll not opposed to funding the project,” Tom granted.

“They just keep making these superhero movies, one after another,” Tom marveled.

“I Tased the little bastard!” Tom said shockingly.

“I teach at the college,” Tom professed.

“I’m just a teeny bit incontinent,” Tom leaked.

“I feel like I’m about to fricking suffocate!” Tom vented.

“I can’t lift it, it’s too heavy!” Tom whimpered.

“I really want some of those hiking sandals,” Tom said keenly.

“I’m about to totally lose it,” Tom stressed.

“I labeled it with a Sharpie in two places,” Tom remarked.

“My pulse is extremely strong,” Tom said heartily.

“You won something,” Tom apprised.

“You turn me on,” Tom said stiffly.

 “You should come over, I’ve been drinking cocktails all afternoon,” said Tom spiritedly.

“My ranch only has cows and steers,” Tom said nobly.

“It’s no secret my firm does lots of pro bono work,” Tom said freely.

“I just love my new lamp!” Tom said delightedly.

“Sir, sir, sir, sir, sir,” Tom whispered surreptitiously.

 “Man, you really stink!” Tom fumed.

“I’ll just give my boss the finger,” Tom said flippantly.

“I love that old oil lamp,” Tom said genially.

“We’re gonna get caught in this storm!” Tom thundered.

“I really dig Studio Ghibli,” Tom said animatedly.

“A thousand megabytes is a lot!” Tom giggled.

“Did you smuggle in the pancakes? I’ve got everything else,” Tom said surreptitiously.

 “I have no use for merely average people like you,” Tom said meanly.

“When are you going to finish that sewing project?” Tom needled.

“I can’t believe you Tased him twice,” Tom said, revolted.

“If I have to hear one more live band, I think I’ll barf,” Tom said disconcertedly.

“How do you feel about gay couples?” Tom queried.

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