Are Puns Actually Laugh-Worthy?

Why did Shakespeare only write in pen? Pencils confused him. 2B or not 2B?

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Why did Shakespeare only write in pen? Pencils confused him. 2B or not 2B?

Halle Rager, Staff Writer

What is a pun? By the definition from Oxford dictionary, it’s ‘a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word, or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings.’

However, my favorite definition has to be from Urban Dictionary: “Wielded by a master, a pun is the highest, purest form of humor possible by humans. Puns are a dark art, much like necromancy. Raising the dead will get you killed. Raising a pun with your killer sense of humor will get you killed, making it a grave mistake, even if you were dead serious.” 

A pun also goes by the name ‘paronomasia.’ There are different types of puns. Personally, my favorite types are homophonic, homographic, and compound. A homophonic pun is when you make a joke with words that sound alike. An example is, ‘why is it so wet in England? Because many kings and queens have reigned there.’ A homographic pun is when you use words in a joke that sound the same. An example is, ‘time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.’ A compound pun is when there is more than one pun in the sentence: ‘Never scam in the jungle; cheetahs are always spotted.’

Puns have gone back as far as 184 B.C. In the Hebrew Bible, they were even used visually in hieroglyphics. That being said, puns have been around for a long time. As for right now, they’ve usually been used in stand up comedy or just a light joke between friends. Sometimes using puns in those types of situations could get you a lot of hate. Or, who knows, maybe some laughs (more like a pity laugh). So here’s the question: are puns actually that funny?

You could say it depends on the situation. Puns are supposed to be funny. They’re supposed to make you laugh. Sometimes, though, they’re just so stupid- so stupid that they’re laughable.

Have you heard about the kidnapping? Don’t worry, he woke up! We have all definitely heard that one before. It has become annoying, and it isn’t even funny anymore. It’s so groan-worthy. It’s an example of a pun that you could never use in an actual situation (and if you can, then rethink the actions that have led you up to that point). 

Did you hear about the dyslexic Satanist? He sold his soul to Santa. Okay, that’s a little funny. Totally out of context though. That’s the factor that takes away from it. So, in conclusion, stupidity is funny. That’s why you get laughter and groans after you say a pun. You can’t help but laugh, even if it does end up a little forced. 

From Shakespeare to David Dobrik, puns have been in literacy and comedy since the beginning of time. They can be cheesy, annoying, inappropriate, confusing, and overall punny. Get it… instead of funny, it’s punny. You get the pun-chline? That’s a knee slapper. Ba dum tss. 🥁

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