"No, not that," he cried hopelessly
Someone at the Johns Hopkins University Press has written about the Taser post to enclose a link to a Wikipedia article explaining that TASER is an acronym for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle, because the inventor had admired the Tom Swift stories as a boy.
(Wait a minute. Shouldn’t people at the Hopkins University Press be spending their time on something weightier than this blog?)
The correspondent adds: "I'll Taser You," Tom Swift Said, Shockingly.
Well, he started it.
There was a time in my tepid-blooded youth that I indulged in Tom Swifties. You see, the Laws of Fancy Writing, according to which the Tom Swift stories were composed, require that every noun be accompanied by an adjective, every verb to be escorted by an adverb. Tom Swift never merely said anything; said was always matched with a descriptive adverb. Thus the game Tom Swifties, in which sentences must be constructed in which there is a play on words between the main clause and the adverb.
These are from my archives.
“I don’t think that congressmen should be able to send so much mail at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said frankly.
“The operation must begin at once,” he announced incisively.
“Why, you haven’t prepared the corn for cooking,” he said huskily.
“I’m afraid I have poison ivy,” she commented rashly.
“That girl has the loosest morals in town,” she remarked tartly.
“Some opera singers have more temperament than talent,” he snapped callously.
“You shouldn’t have stopped by the woods on such a snowy evening,” she observed frostily.
“Why did Clare Boothe decide to marry that opinionated publisher?” she asked lucidly.
“My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky,” he exclaimed in words worthy of a poet.