Word Ways


Humor in satire can be a ticklish business and indeed in more ways than one. In the case of Jonathan Swift, why did he have to make the horses in Part IV of Gulliver's Travels superior to the yahoos (or human beings)? The reader is expected to take the contrast somewhat lightly, even as the very name of horse country. Houyhnhnm-land, obviously echoes the whinny of the beast of burden. Yet here are certain other connotative meanings now worth considering: