Bad attempts at puns are not funny, just stupid

I can’t seem to write anything significant this week… Every time I start something, then later abandon it. Hopefully I can finish my point and share this little pet peeve.

For comic relief, one of the sites I read is poorly drawn lines. It’s generally quite funny, off-beat humour. Sometimes it’s fucking hilarious.

And there’s a tradition in the comments section, a tradition of writing puns. Except that most of the people who write the puns don’t actually write puns at all. In a comment to the latest joke there at the time of this writing, which happens to be about the similarities between the words Prussia and Russia, somebody wrote a comment, “In tribute to David Bowie: Under Prussia.”

That’s just one example of many that is not a pun. From Wikipedia:

The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.

Actually I didn’t know about the “similar-sounding words” part being a pun, but regardless, Prussia doesn’t sound like pressure. I’d consider similar sounding words weak puns anyway, but if I had to use them, I’d use words that sounded identical that were spelled differently.

Good puns exploit multiple meanings of words to comedic effect, preferably different meanings of the same word with the same spelling. Most of the “puns” in the comments on that site are even worse than the example I’ve given, which could arguably qualify as a pun. Most of them are so badly contrived that they are not valid words at all, and it pisses me off when I read them.

If you must write puns, why not take the time to think up decent ones?


About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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