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I am assuming l(i)ebe means both love and live. I want to make sure so that I don't misuse it. I can find book titles that support my assumption, but don't want to be wrong.

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    Your assumption is correct. Note that love (Liebe) is a noun and live (lebe) is the imperative of the verb. – Jan Oct 15 '15 at 16:10
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    @Jan love and liebe could also be the imperative, first person singular. – Deve Oct 15 '15 at 16:15
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    @Deve Correct, I totally overlooked that. Maybe I need more chocolate or tea … Lebe can also be 1st singular or subjunctive I. Liebe can also be subjunctive I. I might actually delete my above comment xD – Jan Oct 15 '15 at 16:19
  • How did "slang" make it into your tags? :) – Gerhard Oct 15 '15 at 16:30
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    I made exactly the same mistake as @Carstens : I assumed you were talking about two separate words, not one word including brackets. Maybe you could add that this is about the use of brackets within words for puns - so it can be found more easily. – Gerhard Oct 15 '15 at 18:02
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The construction is a rather common type of punning in German. Take two similar sounding words that work in similar contexts and ideally only differ in one letter.

  • Ich l(i)ebe → Ich lebe or ich liebe, I live or I love
  • Wa(h)re Liebe → (Die) Ware Liebe or (die) wahre Liebe, the product ‘love’ or true love a former German TV show
  • Ein B(r)uch → ein Buch or ein Bruch, a book or a crack — I have no idea where this would be used, but I was struggling for examples.

Of course you can do this in English to:

  • A black (k)night.
0

You seem to assume that liebe and lebe are somehow the same word. They are not. They are forms of the two verbs lieben (to love) and leben (to live).

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    I think the OP is referring to the wordplay, i.e. to the usage including parantheses. – Deve Oct 15 '15 at 16:50
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    @Deve. Oh, I see. So the "slang" part is that German dictionaries do not contain words including parentheses but list each word on its own. Well, that makes sense. Kind of. – Carsten S Oct 15 '15 at 17:04

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