Me Talk Pretty One Day Questions and Answers
by David Sedaris

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Discuss the particular devices of humor in Davis Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty One Day."

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Sedaris makes use of malapropism, which is the misuse of words to humorous effect. For example, he writes, describing the dialogue among the students learning French, "That is common for me also, but be more strong, you. Much work, and someday you talk pretty." Many of his sentences contain these types of misuses of language, and it is funny to hear the mistakes that he and his fellow students make in French.

In addition, Sedaris makes use of hyperbole, or exaggeration. For example, he writes, "The first Anna hailed from an industrial town outside of Warsaw and had front teeth the size of tombstones." These types of exaggeration amplify the strangeness of Sedaris's classmates and make these characters funnier to the reader.

Sedaris also uses verbal irony, which typically says the opposite of what the author really means. For example, when his teacher tells him, "You exhaust me with your foolishness and reward my efforts with nothing but pain, do you understand me?" he reacts with great joy...

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