Humor, Homonyms, and Tina Fey

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

Tina Fey is so awesome that she can make grammar fun.  Last year when I needed to review several homonyms and confusing words with 10th graders I began the lesson with a quote from Fey’s show 30 Rock: “You are my heroine. And by heroine I mean lady hero; I don’t want to inject you and listen to jazz.” To test their knowledge of the words from the homonyms list, I had them use each tern in a sentence. They managed to somehow include the word heroin in each sentence. Now that I’ve posted this online I will probably get fired, but at least they learned their homonyms. 

Fey is not only making English class fun, she’s also been helping break gender barriers in the field of comedy. Last week, Tina Fey was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Fey, who has also won seven Emmys, four SAG awards, four Writers Guild Awards and three Golden Globes, is only the third woman to win the Mark Twain Prize. Here’s what she had to say about this in her acceptance speech: 

“I’m so honored to be numbered Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg, but I do hope that women are achieving at a rate these days that we can stop counting what number they are at things. Yes,” she continued, “I was the first female Head Writer at SNL and yes, I was only the second woman ever to be pregnant while on the show, and now tonight I am the third female recipient of this prize. I would love to be the fourth woman to do something, but I just don’t see myself married to Lorne.”

Love it. 

Visit the PBS website to watch the entire ceremony.

via Feministing



  1. This may be a stupid question but what is the heck is a homonym? Sounds familiar. LOL! i obviously didnt pay attention in English.

  2. Oh lord, they’re two words that sound the same but have different meanings. Like left and left.

    At least I think that’s right. If not, my bad.

  3. Yes, you’re right. Technically, what I had to review with them would be called homophones, but these days we tend to use the words interchangeably.

    Homophones — sound the same, different meanings and spellings.

    Homonyms — same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings.

    Class dismissed.

  4. Uhhh ok. I’d rather do Calculus..less confusing.

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