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Sportscaster Chris Berman is well known for the use of puns to make nicknames for athletes (e.g. calling Baseball Hall of Fame starting pitcher Bert Blyleven Bert “Be Home” Blyleven, a pun on the phrase “be home by eleven.” But did you know that Berman initially had his heart set on being a literary critic? In fact, it was in his literary writing that his nicknaming schtick began… and is the reason he was handed a lifetime ban from publishing in every literary journal in North America and parts of Africa. For the first time in thirty years, some of Berman’s “best” literary nicknames are seeing the light of day, exclusive to this blog.

  • Leo “For Whom the Bell” Tolstoy
  • Ezra “In for a Penny, in for a” Pound
  • Joseph “Heaven and” Heller
  • Charles “What the” Dickens
  • Margaret “Double, Double, Toil and” Drabble

The Center for Poor Karma & Pain sincerely apologizes.

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